Sphere makes Wicked acquisition

Little, Brown imprint Sphere has acquired a "shocking" debut novel about the murder of a little girl.

Editorial director Catherine Burke acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) including audio and e-book in The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood from Laetitia Rutherford at Mulcahy Conway Associates.

The novel is set in the fictitious seaside town of Whitmouth. A series of murders brings together two women who as children were imprisoned for their part of the murder of a little girl, and who now live under assumed identities.

Burke said: "I'm thrilled to be publishing Alex's powerful and compelling novel at Sphere. From its dramatic opening to its shocking conclusion, I know that—like me—readers will be thoroughly gripped by this brilliantly written story."

Sphere will publish in trade paperback summer 2012, followed by b-format in spring 2013.