HarperFiction has netted While Justice Sleeps by US politician and lawyer Stacey Abrams, a “powerful” political thriller about a young law clerk who is left to unravel a conspiracy in the heart of Washington.
Phoebe Morgan, editorial director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Meredith Miller at United Talent. North American rights were acquired by Jason Kaufman at Doubleday in the US. HarperFiction will publish in hardback in May 2021.
Abrams is the New York Times-bestselling author of Our Time is Now (Henry Holt) and Lead from the Outside (Picador US), as well as being an entrepreneur and political leader. A tax attorney by training, she served 11 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, including seven as minority leader, and became the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She has launched multiple organisations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of colour, and tackling social issues at state, national and international levels.
She said: “I am excited to be working with Phoebe Morgan and the HarperCollins team to introduce Avery’s story to an international audience. I wrote the first draft of this novel a decade ago, pondering over the intriguing aspect of lifetime appointments to the US Supreme Court. As an avid consumer of legal suspense novels and political thrillers, I am excited to add my voice into the mix.”
Morgan added: “Stacey is an inspiration: her work as a Democrat, particularly in the recent 2020 US election, has been incredible to observe and we’re extremely proud to now be publishing her first thriller on the HarperFiction list. While Justice Sleeps is explosive, clever, and offers a fascinating insight into the American justice system while showcasing Stacey’s major talent as a thriller writer. I loved Avery, a young, mixed-race law clerk who stands up against the powers of the White House in a very feminist way!”