Simon & Schuster UK has triumphed in a three-way auction for Do No Harm, a "compulsive" thriller from Jack Jordan.
Commissioning editor Bethan Jones secured UK and Commonwealth rights from Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency in a six-figure deal. The hardback will launch as a lead thriller in July 2022, with the paperback following in spring 2023. The deal includes a second novel, Take Her Down, set for 2023.
The synopsis explains: "For fans of Adrian McKinty’s The Chain, Linwood Barclay’s No Time for Goodbye, Steve Cavanagh and Nicci French, the thriller asks the question: could you kill another person to save your own child? When heart surgeon Dr Anna Jones returns home to find her son kidnapped, she is forced to make an impossible choice. Kill a high-profile patient on the operating table, or never see her son again.
"Told from the perspectives of Anna, her scrub nurse, Margot, who has her own secrets to protect, and DI Rachel Conaty, Anna must first make her decision—break her oath or lose her child—and then avoid detection. The narration shifts from each character, slowly tightening the noose around Anna’s neck, until her plan—and her entire life—threatens to unravel."
Jones said: "I have been looking for a high-concept thriller for the S&S list for some time now and, within a few chapters of reading Do No Harm, I knew this was one I had to publish. It is fast-paced, breathless thriller-writing at its very best. Jack has taken an incredibly hooky premise and spun it into something so believable, which is such a testament to his skill as a writer.
"This is a truly human story, in the way that all phenomenal thrillers are. I felt stressed while I was reading this, which is such a special quality for a book in this genre to have, for it to make you breathless. The three points-of-view masterfully remind you of how precarious Anna’s situation is, the fact that she is never safe, that there is always something at stake. It is just so good and I am incredibly excited to publish it."
Jordan's previous titles include Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned, Before Her Eyes and Night by Night. He has sold 6,536 books for £36,928 through Nielsen BookScan's UK TCM, with his bestseller Before Her Eyes, at 4,285 copies sold in paperback.
Commenting on the deal, he said: "I am absolutely ecstatic about the response to Do No Harm, and was immediately blown away by the level of passion from Bethan and the team. I have long admired Simon & Schuster’s powerhouse force in the industry, so to be able to work with them on Do No Harm and beyond is a dream come true."