Viper has bagged two more "twisting and chilling" novels from crime and thriller writer Catriona Ward, author of The Last House on Needless Street.
Looking Glass Sound will tell the story of unsuccessful author Tom, who has travelled to a lonely cottage on the New England coast, fleeing the break-up of his marriage. He intends to write his final novel, with the protagonist based on his nemesis, Sky, who is now dead.
The synopsis explains: "Sky and Tom were once close, but after the publication of Sky’s first novel, 'Looking Glass Sound', Sky’s fame and ego drove them apart. Tom’s book will be a thinly veiled account of their friendship, painting Sky as a monstrous Patricia Highsmith figure. But this final act of revenge does not go as planned. Tom discovers notes in Sky’s handwriting in the cottage, written in his favourite green ink, making crushing comments about Tom’s writing and broken heart. Is Sky haunting Tom? Or is he still alive?"
Viper published Ward's modern gothic thriller The Last House on Needless Street in March this year, to critical acclaim. It was a BBC2 "Between the Covers" Book Club pick, a bestseller, and both a Times and Observer Thriller of the Month. The paperback is publishing on 17th September, with Ward’s next novel, Sundial, coming in March 2022.
Miranda Jewess, editorial director at the Serpent's Tail crime imprint Viper, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, plus audio, to Looking Glass Sound and an untitled second novel in a two-book deal from Jenny Savill at Andrew Nurnberg Associates. Looking Glass Sound is scheduled for publication in March 2023.
Jewess said: "Looking Glass Sound is a twisting and chilling tale, where nothing is as it seems and the reader never knows who to believe. To say any more would be to spoil it, which is something I adore about Cat’s novels; they ask the reader to trust her, and she always repays that trust. The response to The Last House on Needless Street was a dream come true for a young imprint, and we’re delighted that Cat will continue to publish with Viper for years to come. She’s such a talented and responsive author to work with—I feel extremely lucky."
Ward added: "In a few short years Miranda Jewess and Viper have proved, again and again, that their innovative, dedicated and inspirational publishing can introduce unconventional, high-concept books to a wide readership. Individually and as a team Viper have enormous heart and the keenest of instincts. I feel immensely privileged to be setting out on another adventure with this dynamic, exciting imprint."