Quercus wins three-way auction for Icelandic crime

Quercus wins three-way auction for Icelandic crime

Quercus’ upmarket imprint riverrun has acquired a true crime book about “bizarre Icelandic disappearances” by a BBC producer following a three-way auction.

The publisher's commissioning editor Richard Arcus bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to Out of Thin Air: The True Story Of An Impossible Murder In Iceland by Anthony Adeane from Juliet Mahony at Lutyens & Rubinstein. It will be published in hardback on 3rd May 2018.

Current affairs producer Adeane created the BBC4 Storyville documentary, "Out of Thin Air: Murder in Iceland", which aired on Monday (14th August) following his three-year investigation.

The book explores the mysterious 1974 Gudmundur and Geirfinnur disappearances after which six people confessed to violent murders they had not committed. It traces the “bizarre and baffling developments” that continue to unfold today while considering the cultural, political and socioeconomic shifts seen in Iceland over the last four decades.

Adeane was responsible for pitching, researching and assistant-producing the show for the BBC. He spent three years visiting Iceland, interviewing those involved and building a network of contacts including the main suspects, the police who first investigated the disappearances and the journalists who initially involved the story.

Arcus said the title “blends solid research with liquid storytelling” and is aimed at those searching for “their next true crime fix”.

He said: “As a slavish devotee to literary true crime, and endlessly fascinated by foreign countries, Out Of Thin Air is as up my street as it gets. A true crime episode that looks at an interesting, closed society through the light of a tragedy, it belongs next to Richard Lloyd Parry's People Who Eat Darkness [Vintage] and Åsne Seierstad's One of Us [Virago].

“Anthony Adeane blends solid research with liquid storytelling, making this book the essential destination for those seeking their next true crime fix.”

Quercus launched the fiction and non-fiction imprint, riverrun, in March 2016 to showcase "high quality literary fiction, upmarket crime and top class, serious non-fiction".