Transworld has acquired a debut thriller, Mind Games, by Penguin Random House Writer’s Academy graduate Leona Deakin.
Commissioning editor Lizzy Goudsmit bought world rights to Mind Games, as well as a second novel, directly from the author.
Goudsmit said it had exceeded her expectations "in every possible way", calling it "twisting" and "addictive", and praising its "brilliant premise".
The story opens with four missing strangers. There are no clues regarding their whereabouts, except one. On the day they disappeared, each received a birthday card that read “Your gift is the game. Dare to play?”
Persuaded to investigate by the victims’ families, Dr Augusta Bloom, a psychologist and private investigator, delves into their lives. She examines their behaviours, their motives, their personalities and finds something that binds them all. And that something makes these missing people very dangerous indeed.
Goudsmit had been working alongside the Penguin Random House Writer’s Academy, which offers online creative writing courses, to provide feedback to its graduates. Upon reading the 3,000 word excerpt she said had been "immediately taken in" by Deakin's storytelling.
"I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the novel and it exceeded my expectations in every possible way," said Goudsmit. "This is a compulsive, twisting, addictive thriller. It is a fast-paced, thoroughly entertaining read with a brilliant premise, and Dr Augusta Bloom is the most delightfully fresh heroine. We’re all so excited to take this extraordinary book to market."
Deakin, the book’s author, said: "I am delighted that Transworld will be publishing Mind Games. To work with the team responsible for some of the UK’s best-loved fiction is such an honour and I feel confident that my novels are in the best possible hands with Lizzy and indeed the whole team. I can’t wait to discover what readers make my books. This is a dream come true."
Transworld will publish the thriller in March 2019.