Viking has won a "post-Trump dystopian thriller" by 27-year-old author Hanna Jameson following a "hotly contested" five-way auction ahead of Frankfurt Book Fair.
Editorial director Katy Loftus acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) at auction from Marilia Savvides at Peters Fraser and Dunlop at the end of last week.
The Last is the story of an American academic who is searching for the truth about a girl who has been murdered in his Swiss hotel in the aftermath of a nuclear war that has destroyed most of the Western world.
Jameson is the author of three crime novels published by Head of Zeus, with The Last said to marking "a new direction" for her. She wrote her first novel, which was nominated for a CWA Dagger Award, at the age of 17.
Loftus said: "The Last is an extraordinary novel. Part murder mystery and part post-apocalyptic thriller, it’s like nothing else out there. Reading it was like binge-watching a Netflix series – compulsive, moving and exhilarating. I was genuinely up all night, too terrified to do anything but read. I am thrilled that Hanna has chosen Viking to publish her breakout novel."
Jameson said: "Viking has published some of my favourite – and in my opinion, the best – novels of all time and it's an honour to be among their ranks. I couldn't be more delighted."
Viking will publish in spring 2019.