A&U acquires local crime-fiction debut with ‘major international buzz’
Allen & Unwin has acquired ANZ rights to Australian journalist Chris Hammer’s crime-fiction debut Scrublands for publication in August 2018.
A&U reports that the novel is ‘causing major international buzz’, with rights already sold in the US, UK, Germany and Russia after ‘hotly contested auctions’.
Scrublands is set in a fictional town in NSW’s Riverina region during the Millennium drought and follows a journalist’s investigation into why a priest shot down five of his congregation a year earlier.
A&U publisher Jane Palfreyman said the novel will be ‘one of the biggest debuts of 2018’. ‘As soon as I read the extraordinary opening I was hooked, drawn into a story that held me captive until the final page. In Scrublands, Chris has produced something extraordinary—a brilliant mix of page-turning plot, unforgettable characters, and an evocation of the Australian landscape that makes you feel the heat and taste the dust.’
The novel was acquired from Grace Heifetz at Curtis Brown and will be published in the US by Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone Books and in the UK by Headline imprint Wildfire.