The Borough Press has acquired new novel The Hunters by Kat Gordon, a "sweeping" coming-of-age story set in British colonial Kenya.
Commissioning editor Holly Ainley bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) at auction from Caroline Wood at Felicity Bryan Associates.
The publisher said: "Richly atmospheric, The Hunters takes place between 1925 and 1937 and is narrated by Theo, fifteen when he first arrives in the country, the son of the new Director of Kenyan railways. Falling under the spell of the glamourous Happy Valley set, he is seduced by rich, reckless Freddie and beautiful Sylvie.
"But behind their allure lies a dangerous cocktail of love, lust and betrayal that Theo must navigate and all the while, dark clouds are gathering over his family and fortunes as Africa changes around them."
Gordon said: “I’ve long wanted to write about Africa and as I discovered more about the Happy Valley Set, a number of parallels began to emerge between their time and ours, making it the perfect historical backdrop for the themes I wanted to explore. I'm overjoyed that my novel has found its perfect backdrop too, in the wonderfully talented and enthusiastic team at The Borough Press.”
Ainley added: "I just couldn’t put this book down and was swept away by the heat and the drama of Theo’s world. Kat’s storytelling is assured and impressive and The Hunters is everything we’re looking for at The Borough Press and more: a blend of gorgeous, vivid writing with an unbeatable plot, an irresistible narrator and a setting to die for."
Gordon received a distinction for her MA in creative writing from Royal Holloway and her debut, The Artifical Anatomy of Park, was published in 2015 by Legend Press. She has travelled extensively in East Africa and has lived in Iceland. She is currently settled in London.
The Borough Press will publish The Hunter in May 2018. Rights were pre-empted in Germany by Hoffmann und Campe and have also been sold at auction in France to Fleuve Editions and in Italy to Mondadori.