Zaffre has acquired a feminist revenge thriller by Scarlett Brade, inspired by the author’s own relationship with a high-profile sportsman.
In her first deal for the fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, senior editor Kelly Smith acquired world English language rights from Kate Burke at Blake Friedmann. The Hive will be published in hardback, audio and e-book in July 2022, with the paperback following in summer 2023.
“The Hive is a feminist revenge thriller which opens powerfully with the protagonist confessing to killing her ex-boyfriend’s new partner via Instagram Live and inviting viewers, and by extension the reader, to vote on whether he should live or die,” the blurb reads. “The novel celebrates sisterhood and raises important questions about the relationship between social media and mental health, and child loss, whether by choice, chance or circumstance.”
Smith, who joined Zaffre from Allison & Busby earlier this year, said: “Scarlett is a breath of fresh air in the genre. She writes of matters usually considered taboo, but which in reality are just part of the day-to-day female experience. The Hive is by turns compelling and thought-provoking, while Scarlett’s portrayal of four friends, supporting each other through their individual troubles, is uplifting.”
Brade is the daughter of parents who migrated from the Caribbean to England in the early 1970s. She was born and educated in London, spending her childhood summers in Canada. The Hive is her first psychological thriller novel and was inspired by her own relationship with a sportsman where social media interfered. She wrote and self-published her full-length novel at the age of 23.
“It’s a dream come true and an honour to join a list of authors whose books have been a powerful influence on my own writing,” Brade said. “I have been harbouring this idea for three years and wanted to tell a story that provokes discussions on subjects we deem unmentionable. One of the things I love about this novel is how it tests our moral compass, leaving the reader with the burning question ‘What would you do?’ long after the pages have ended. The Hive is my take on 'Sex and the City' meets Gone Girl, and I cannot wait to share it with the world.”
Burke said: “Scarlett is such an exciting new voice for the thriller genre, and I’m delighted that Zaffre will be launching The Hive in such a big way next year. This is an explosive book that will get everyone talking.”