HarperCollins has bought the UK and Commonwealth rights to Jax Miller’s investigation into a case of murder and missing teenage girls, By the Dawn’s Early Light.
The book is about a true life crime that happened in rural Oklahoma in 1999. One day a trailer belonging to the Freeman family was found in flames and when the police arrived they realised a woman named Kathy Freeman was dead inside. Soon after, it came to light that sixteen-year-old Ashley Freeman and her best friend Lauria Bible were missing. Amid rumours of drug debts, retributive violence and police collusion the case remained unsolved and the girls were never found.
Miller traveled to Oklahoma in 2015 to try and find out what really happened and soon discovered evidence of police negligence and corruption and communities ravaged by meth addiction.
Sarah Hodgson, deputy publishing director at HarperCollins, acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights to Miller’s investigation into the crime from Emma Finn at C&W and will publish alongside Penguin Random House in the US.
HarperCollins previously published Miller’s first novel, Freedom’s Child.
Hodgson said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be reunited with Jax Miller for this utterly compelling and unique project. The success of podcasts such as Serial and TV documentaries such as Making a Murderer and Staircase shows there’s a growing appetite for well-told true crime stories. Jax’s passion for this story and determination to uncover the truth shine through the narrative of By the Dawn’s Early Light, and her lyrical and evocative writing style make it a truly special read.”
Publication date is to be confirmed.