Sphere has acquired The Ruin by debut author Dervla McTiernan in a two-book deal with Curtis Brown.
The Ruin, scheduled for publication in March 2018, is part of a new crime series. It introduces DI Cormac Reilly, who has left a high-flying Dublin career to return to Galway where he is confronted with resentful colleagues and a haunting case from 20 years prior.
Lucy Dauman, commissioning editor for Sphere Fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada and ANZ) from Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown, on behalf of Tara Wynne at CB Australia. Rights have also been sold in ANZ and Germany.
Dauman said: "Dervla is a huge talent and I am so proud to be publishing her on the Sphere list. The Ruin is one of the most haunting crime novels I’ve read in a long time – dark, authentic and incredibly powerful; it’s the kind of book that will stay with you long after reading. Dervla and her creation Cormac Reilly are set to take the world of crime fiction by storm and I couldn’t be more excited to part of it."
Wynne said: "From the moment I opened The Ruin, I knew this was going to be the start of something special. Dervla is a perceptive writer who combines a twisting plot, compelling characters and dark themes with masterful skill. I’m delighted she is going to join Sphere’s brilliant list and I can’t wait for Cormac Reilly and The Ruin to be out in the world."
McTiernan, a former lawyer of 12 years, was born in County Cork, Ireland. She has since moved with her family to Western Australia, where she now lives in Perth working for the Mental Health Commission. In 2015 she submitted a story for the Sisters in Crime Scarlet Stiletto competition and was shortlisted, inspiring her to complete the novel that would become The Ruin.
She said: "When I started writing The Ruin, I had a single image: a brother and sister sitting together, holding hands, on the stairs of this crumbling Georgian house. It is getting dark outside, and they are afraid. That was the starting point for the whole book – I wanted to tell their story. I can’t wait to work with the amazing team at Sphere on doing just that."