Thriller signings show Headline's intent

<p>Headline is planning a major push on a flurry of thriller titles over the next two years in a bid to cement its position within the genre.</p><p>The publisher lost James Patterson to Random House last year but plans to make its new signings the bestselling &quot;brands of the future&quot;.</p><p>Recent acquisitions made include novels by Carol O&#39;Connell, Suzanne Brockmann, Quintin Jardine and Andy McDermott, as well as Jonathan Kellerman earlier in the year.</p><p>Several of these deals are for more than one book and in the case of Brockman, Headline has also acquired a backlist of 15 titles. </p><p>Brockman has never been published before in the UK, but the publisher claimed it &quot;will launch her career in 2009 with the same determination that saw Karen Rose rocket to bestsellerdom&quot;. </p><p>Launch plans for Brockman are being discussed with Headline&#39;s &quot;major retail partners&quot;. Vicki Mellor, senior commissioning editor, said she had been a &quot;huge fan&quot; for a long time.&nbsp; &quot;I have never really understood why Suzanne has not been published by a UK House.&quot; </p><p>Mellor added: &quot;Headline&#39;s success with authors such as Karen Rose has taught us that it&#39;s possible to build an author&#39;s sales quickly, and making a multiple-book commitment is the first step to achieving this. </p><p>&quot;We have every confidence that Suzanne will be as big a success in the UK as she is in the US.&quot;<br />Jardine, who is already published by Headline, is launching a new series having killed off his previous protagonist Oz Blackstone. Featuring Oz&#39;s estranged wife Primavera, <em>Inhuman Remains</em> is due out in February.</p><p>Mellor has also signed up four new titles from McDermott, the first of which is due out next year. Mellor said: &quot;With this new contract, we now have eight books and are able to build strategically and rapidly to give Andy&#39;s fans the books they want.&quot;</p><p>Kellerman&#39;s <em>True Detectives </em>will be published as a &pound;17.99 hardback in March. O&#39;Connoll&#39;s <em>Bone by Bone </em>is to be published in hardback on 30th December, with a big marketing push to come in July for the B-format paperback.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>In a separate deal, Martin Fletcher, publisher-at-large, struck a two-book deal at auction through agent Jim Gill for the first novels by historian Ian Mortimer, who will write as James Forrester. Set in the Elizabethan era, Mortimer&#39;s fictional d&eacute;but<em> Sacred Treason </em>will be -published in 2010.</p>