Simon & Schuster is to publish Polly Phillips' debut thriller, My Best Friend's Murder, next year.
Commissioning editor Bethan Jones acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the novel from Sarah Hornsley at The Bent Agency.
The thriller explores the sinister side of enduring childhood friendship and toxic relationships.
Jones said: "I loved this even before I read a word; the title pulled me in immediately. And then when I started, I just couldn’t stop: Polly has written a completely addictive novel that has everyone at S&S hooked. It is the perfect book to dissect, the kind of thing that you have to discuss. The plot is something horrifying that you can’t look away from, putting multiple characters in the frame and eliciting a completely compulsive reading experience. I cannot wait to get this into readers’ hands."
Phillips, who has worked as a journalist in Australia, Dubai, Denmark and the UK, won the Montegrappa Writing Prize at the Emirates Literature Festival in 2019 for the debut.
She said: "I’m so excited that Simon & Schuster will be publishing My Best Friend’s Murder. From the moment I met Bethan, it was a thrill to connect with someone who got the characters the way that I did and, with her help, I can’t wait to share Bec and Izzy and their toxic friendship with the world."
The book will be released in January 2021 in e-book and audio format, with the paperback edition to follow in July.