Viking bags 'richly atmospheric' gothic novel from Underdown

Viking bags 'richly atmospheric' gothic novel from Underdown

Viking has bagged a "richly atmospheric" gothic novel from Beth Underdown in a two-book deal.

Publisher Katy Loftus acquired world English rights for The Key in the Lock from Nelle Andrew at Rachel Mills Literary. The Key in the Lock will publish in hardback on 27th January 2022. 

The novel is set in Cornwall, and shifts between 1888 and 1918. The synopsis says: "In 1918, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son in the Great War. But by night she grieves for another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still. For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free." 

Underdown's debut novel The Witchfinder’s Sister (Viking) was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and winner of the HWA Goldsboro Crown Debut award. Ahead of publication, Underdown was selected by the Observer as a "New Face of Fiction", alongside Sally Rooney, Gail Honeyman and Joseph Knox.

She said: "This book is very close to my heart, and I’m so happy that it will soon be finding its way to readers at last! I’m absolutely delighted to be published again by Viking, which gave my debut novel such a brilliant home."

Editor Vikki Moynes added: "Everyone at Viking is thrilled to be publishing Beth’s new evocative historical mystery. With echoes of Rebecca, this is a book guaranteed to keep you in its thrall – first compelled to read in one night to get to the bottom of the unspooling mystery, and then to revisit again and again to absorb the atmospheric prose."