Indie press Serpentine Books has bagged a "captivating" thriller from début writer Heather Barnett.
Director Raquel Elias acquired world rights direct from the author for Acts of Kindness, slated for publication in March 2021.
"The novel follows newly divorced thirty-something Bella Black as she takes up a job at Acorn Consulting and its charitable foundation, the mysterious Organised Acts of Kindness Institute," reads the synopsis. "It becomes clear, however, that not everyone at the institute is benevolent, when the c.e.o. goes missing and systems are attacked. While attempting to discover who is behind the sabotage, Bella grapples with her own sense of identity and growing feelings for two men: her enigmatic boss Ben, and witty colleague Rich."
Barnett, a comedy writer and head of marketing, kick-started her début with creative writing sessions at the Faber Academy and Arvon Foundation.
Elias said: "It blends a captivating storyline, compelling characters and a sideways look at life with elements of comedy and romance."