Serpent’s Tail has bought Romanian crime writer’s E O Chirovici’s second novel in English.
Cecily Gayford, senior commissioning editor at Profile Books and Serpent’s Tail, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to a thriller, Bad Blood, from Marilia Savvides at PFD. German rights were acquired by Munich-based publishing house Goldmann for a “high six-figure sum”. Serpent’s Tail will publish Bad Blood in July 2018.
Bad Blood follows a rainy night in New York, when psychologist James Cobb gives a talk about the art of recovering lost memories. Afterwards, he is approached by a mysterious billionaire, whose request for help will “plunge James into a mysterious world of lost memories and hidden secrets, where no one is who they seem to be, and every fact has another interpretation”.
Gayford described the novel, which spans contemporary America and Paris in the 1970s, as a “perfect example of a book that is more than the sum of its parts”.
She said: “It’s a compelling page-turner, but also a novel of ideas, about how our pasts can shape and destroy us, and an unnerving reminder of how little we can trust memories – whether our own or other people’s. It’s so rare to find a novel that gives you chills and makes you think, but this is it.”
Brussels-based Chirovici worked in the Romanian media and has published novels and short stories in his native language. His first book in the English language, The Book of Mirrors, was published by Century in January 2017 after being acquired in a “hotly contested” auction. It was sold in 38 languages and the film rights have been acquired by a US producer.