Quercus has paid a six-figure sum for two books by debut novelist Paul Lynch, beating off five other publishers in a six-way auction.
Editor-in-chief Jon Riley bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the two novels through Ivan Mulcahy at Mulcahy Conway Associates. The first book, Red Sky in Morning, will be published in spring 2013.
Riley said: "Paul Lynch's achievement in his tragic first novel, Red Sky in Morning, is to forge an epic historical story that thrills and moves his readers even while it is forming a hold on their minds with the power of myth.
"He writes with the greatest sensitivity and power of a world in which people face cold indifference in a merciless universe. This marks the beginning of an extraordinary career by a major new novelist."
Mulcahy added: "I owe a huge thank you to our agency's scout in Dublin, Sinead Gleeson, for introducing me to Paul Lynch. It has been a joy to witness the wave of awestruck admiration as publishers read and responded to Red Sky in Morning."