Sam Eades, editorial director at Trapeze, has acquired a "steamy" and "gripping" courtroom drama, Degrees of Guilt by H S Chandler.
Set during the hottest summer on record, Degrees of Guilt is told from two perspectives - Maria, on trial for the attempted murder of her husband, and Lottie, a juror who embarks on a steamy affair as the trial unfolds. World rights (all-languages) in the book were acquired from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson.
Eades said: "The popularity of the television adaptation of 'Apple Tree Yard' earlier this year shows we have an insatiable appetite for legal thrillers. H S Chandler puts a unique twist on the genre by focusing on a character on jury duty, exploring how people from all backgrounds are thrown together under intense pressure and how quickly a relationship might develop. With explosive action in both the courtroom and the deliberation room, Degrees of Guilt has us hot under the collar at Orion, and we can’t wait for readers to get their hands on this one."
Hardman said: "H S Chandler vividly brings to life the intensity of jury duty, allowing us to explore what might cause you to put everything at risk for someone you don’t know. I love a courtroom drama and I’m thrilled Sam & the Trapeze team will be publishing this prime case. I’m sure the readers’ verdict will be unanimous."
The book's author was inspired by true crime stories and obituaries, according to Trapeze. Chandler commented: "What's fascinating about the trial system is combining high stakes with that most wonderful of pastimes - people watching - never more intense than when the subjects are at their lowest ebb. Writing Degrees of Guilt was sheer indulgence for me. Sex, violence, love and hate. What people will do when they're taken out of their normal environment and pushed to extremes is extraordinary."
Degrees of Guilt will be published by Trapeze in e-book in November 2018 with a mass market paperback and audio edition in spring 2019.