Sceptre has pre-empted a literary western on the basis of three chapters.
Suzie Dooré bought world rights to The Brittle Star by Davina Langdale from Jane Finigan at Lutyens and Rubinstein.
The Brittle Star is about John Evert, who lives on a ranch with his mother and their farmhands. They receive warning that Indian raids have been taking place nearby, and grudgingly agree to have two men from the neighbouring ranch stay to help protect them.
Evert wakes after a raid that left him concussed to find the ranch hands and guards dead and his mother abducted.
Vowing revenge, he sets off on the ranch’s one remaining donkey, and arrow lodged in his shoulder, in search of his mother and her abductors.
Dooré said: “I love nothing more than a literary story with real pace, so I was so excited when I read the first three chapters of The Brittle Star. You’d never believe Davina was a British woman – her descriptions of John Evert’s life on the ranch and the raid in which his mother is taken are nothing short of stunning, and I genuinely let out a little scream when the white-painted rider came galloping out of the mist. I can’t wait to work with Davina on the rest of the novel – she has an extraordinary gift.”
Sceptre will publish The Brittle Star in 2017.