Sphere has bought a psychological thriller titled Painkiller by Private Eye staff writer N J Fountain.
Cath Burke, fiction publisher at Sphere, bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel in a deal brokered by Piers Blofeld at Sheil Land Associates.
Painkiller tells the story of a once successful woman suffering from chronic neuropathic pain as the result of an accident five years earlier. It is part-based on Fountain’s own experience caring for a close friend who suffers from the condition.
Burke said: “Monica is a brilliantly realised character, who completely got under my skin. I devoured this novel in one big gulp, completely on the edge of my seat and I can't wait to publish Painkiller at Sphere.”
Blofeld added: “Painkiller is one of those rare novels which combines a brilliantly strong female voice with a truly original plot and I was thrilled that a publisher with such a terrific track record as Cath was so quick to recognise its quality.”
Painkiller will be published by Little Brown as a lead title early in 2016.