Bloomsbury has acquired an Agatha Christie-inspired debut about “obsession, deceit and betrayal” in a university campus, written by an University of East Anglia (UEA) graduate.
Publishing director Alexis Kirschbaum bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The Truants by Kate Weinberg from Claire Conrad at Janklow & Nesbit in a two-book deal. US rights were pre-empted by Helen Richard at Putnam, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
The Truants will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2019.
It follows 18-year-old Jess, who is drawn into a love triangle “headed by the brilliant professor of her Agatha Christie class” in an East Anglia university campus. At first she is enamoured by the strange, invigorating world she finds herself in, Jess soon realises that all is not what it seems and the novel explores “obsession, deceit and betrayal”, according to Bloomsbury. When events "set in motion by desire end in disappearance and crushing loss", she is forced to embark on a Christie-style investigation into what really happened.
Weinberg, a London-based graduate of the UEA creative writing course, said: “I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such crack teams as Bloomsbury and Penguin behind The Truants."
She added: "My dream is that I’ll spot a stranger on a train reading my book, looking gripped, occasionally pausing to wipe their eyes after letting out a loud belly laugh.”
Kirschbaum said: “The Truants is a remarkably clever, unsettling debut that looks at infatuation on a university campus in all of its forms. Kate’s storytelling is darkly comic, smart and gripping, and I am thrilled to play my part in introducing it to the world.”