Trapeze has acquired two books in a new police procedural crime series by Stephanie Marland, pitting a group of true crime enthusiasts against a police force.
Sam Eades, editorial director at Trapeze, acquired world rights (all languages excluding Germany) in a two-book deal struck by Oli Munson at AM Heath. My Little Eye will be published by Trapeze in e-book first in November 2017, with the mass market paperback and audio edition to follow in March 2018.
Eades called it "a police procedural with a smart twist" and said of the author she was "a passionate advocate of the crime genre, with so many industry fans". Marland is the pen name of novelist Steph Broadribb, who is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (crime fiction) at City University London and also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series under her real name for Orenda Books.
In My Little Eye, she introduces series lead Clementine Starke, a member of an online true crime group who decide to take on the police to catch a notorious serial killer nicknamed "The Lover". Starke clashes with DI Dominic Bell, the chief investigator on the murders, who is struggling under the weight of an internal investigation. As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case, neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.
The series plays on the current popularity of true crime kicked off by true crime podcast "Serial" and Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer", and which continues in book publishing with true crime books such as Ebury Press' forthcoming Catching a Serial Killer, a former DS' memoir about the manhunt for murderer Christopher Halliwell.
Eades said: "Stephanie skilfully weaves their parallel investigations together, and explores our ongoing obsession with true crime such as 'Serial' and 'Making a Murderer'. It reminded me of reading Sleepyhead for the first time, addictive storytelling that will keep you reading late into the night."
Munson added he had also "devoured" My Little Eye when it came in on submission and praised it for its "fantastic pace, characterisation and a race-against-time plot that has you hooked from page one".
Marland commented: "Like many people, I enjoy being on social media and connecting with people, and those I talk to online soon seem as real as those I know in real life. But in reality they could be anyone – the online world is both liberating and terrifying. After researching how people interact online I was fascinated by what draws people into online communities – the sense of being part of something, a refuge from real life, a place to try out new identities, or even a place to hunt – and wondered what this, combined with the rising interest in true crime documentaries like 'Making a Murderer', could lead to. My Little Eye was the result."