Quercus has won an auction to publish Beautiful Bad, and one further novel, by US screenwriter Annie Ward.
UK and Commonwealth rights were bought at auction from Madeleine Milburn, with North American rights sold to HarperCollins imprint Park Row Books in a “major” six-figure deal after a seven-way auction.
Translation rights have been pre-empted in multiple international territories.
Beautiful Bad opens with protagonist Madeline using writing as therapy following a horrific camping accident.
Her story takes the reader from the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to a family home in Kansas, where 16 years of love, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a terrified 911 caller summons the police to a blood-splattered house.
Quercus will publish the title as a lead thriller in spring 2019.