Simon & Schuster has signed two historical thrillers from Sunday Times-bestselling author and journalist Robert Ryan.
Maxine Hitchcock, S&S editorial director, signed world rights for the books from David Miller at RCW. She said she was inspired to snap up the first title from Ryan, Dead Man’s Land, because it was an “atmospheric read” which “vividly conjured time and place”.
The story is set amid the battlefields of the First World War and features reluctant detective Dr John Watson, sidekick of Sherlock Holmes.
Hitchcock said: “The First World War gave a new scale to death in battle—there were days when 60,000 allied soldiers died, with many corpses never to be found. Where better to commit a murder? And who better to solve it than Dr John Watson, trusted sidekick and confidante of legendary detective Sherlock Holmes?
"This is a treat for fans of authors such as C J Sansom and Jed Rubenfield as well as the legions of Holmes fans out there.”
The title is officially endorsed by the Conan Doyle Estate and will be published in January 2013. Ryan’s second novel for S&S is as yet untitled.