Weidenfeld & Nicolson pre-empted two novels in a new thriller trilogy by debut Italian author Ilaria Tuti during Frankfurt Book Fair.
W&N commissioning editor Federico Andornino acquired World English rights in Flowers over the Inferno and a second book in the ‘Teresa Battaglia trilogy’ from Tuti’s Italian publisher Longanesi. Foreign rights were also pre-empted in France (Laffont, two-books deal), Germany (Penguin Verlag), Holland (Xander), and Spain (Alfaguara, World Spanish Rights, two-books deal).
W&N will publish Flowers over the Inferno in hardback, e-book and audio in spring 2019. The plot introduces Teresa Battaglia, a tough-as-nails Italian police commissioner in her sixties, as she faces one of the most difficult cases of her career. Set in the Italian Friuli region, near the border with Austria, the novel focuses on a remote mountain community torn apart by a series of gruesome crimes. As Commissioner Battaglia investigates, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary case: there are secrets buried deep in those mountains, legends and stories from a dark and dangerous past. As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she has to face her own personal demons, and the possibility that her body and mind might fail her before the chase is over.
Originally from Friuli herself, Tuti was discovered by Longanesi in the slush pile and Flowers over the Inferno will be published in Italy as a lead title in early 2018.
Andornino said: "Nothing fills an editor with more dread than receiving a 'hot book' during Frankfurt week. But when Ilaria’s novel appeared in my inbox on the Wednesday of the Fair, panic soon gave way to excitement as I realised I had a rare gem in my hands: a debut that had me completely mesmerized from the first page. Flowers over the Inferno ticks all the boxes: a perfectly calibrated plot that keeps the pages turning fast; an unforgettable heroine; a dark and spellbinding setting; and the promise of more gripping adventures to come. I read it in a couple of hours and I just knew we had to publish it."
Tuti added: "It’s a great pleasure and a privilege to be part of the Weidenfeld & Nicolson family: I could not wish for a better team for my English debut. I cannot wait for readers to know Teresa Battaglia and the other characters of Flowers over the Inferno. I am delighted to start this extraordinary adventure with Federico and the whole W&N team."