Pan Macmillan acquires two new standalone novels from number one bestseller Peter James

Peter James -  Dead if you Don't - photograph credit James Clarke.jpg

UK and Commonwealth rights to two standalone novels by bestselling author crime author Peter James have been acquired by Wayne Brookes, Associate Publisher (Fiction) at Pan Macmillan. The deal was negotiated by James’ agent Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann, and will be published in hardback in October 2021 and October 2022 respectively.

Pan Macmillan have published Peter James’ Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novels since 2005. To date James’ books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. His most recent standalone novel, ABSOLUTE PROOF, about what would happen if we had incontrovertible proof that God exists, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club 2019. It was released in paperback in July and has sold more than 50,000 copies in its first five weeks.

Wayne Brookes says:

‘It’s been almost a decade since I started working with the extremely talented Peter James on his bestselling Roy Grace series. However, I was a fan of Peter’s earlier non-Grace novels long before I became his publisher. With Absolute Proof riding high in the charts right now we know Peter’s fans are hungry for new thrillers as well as Roy Grace novels, and I am more than happy to give the reading public exactly what they want.’

Peter James says:                                                                                                  

‘I love writing my Roy Grace novels and I’m constantly asked by my fans if I could write more than one a year!  But there are some themes that deeply interest me which I can’t explore as fully as I’d like within a long-running series. I love the refreshing challenge of tackling different subjects while entertaining my readers and I’m delighted that Pan Macmillan are signing up two more standalones now – I can’t wait to share them!’

Isobel Dixon says:                                                                                                              

‘Every Peter James standalone opens up fascinating new avenues, as we saw with his bestselling PERFECT PEOPLE, THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL and ABSOLUTE PROOF.  He’s already hard at work on the next eye-opening page-turner, taking us to more intriguing – and chilling – places. I’m so pleased that Wayne Brookes and the Pan Macmillan team are keeping up the pace for Peter James fans each year, with a summer Roy Grace, and an autumn thriller. Double delight!’

Praise for Peter James:

‘Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business’ — Lee Child

‘Peter James, Britain’s closest equivalent to Stephen King’ — Sunday Times

‘What sets James apart is his extraordinary attention to detail and sheer authenticity of his police procedurals’ — Daily Mirror

‘James has been compared with Stephen King, but in many ways he's better’ — Daily Express

About the Author:

Peter James is an international bestselling crime and thriller writer. He has a total of 14 Sunday Times No. 1s and has been translated into 37 languages. In addition to his career as a novelist, he has produced several films, including THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series BEDSITCOM, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or.

In 2015 WH Smith customers voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he was awarded the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger, a lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. In 2018 he received a Specsavers Honorary Platinum Bestseller Award.

His next book, THE SECRET OF COLD HILL, is a follow-up to THE HOUSE OF COLD HILL, and will be published by Pan Macmillan on 3 October 2019. It gives readers another dose of 21st century ghosts, with spirits taking over contemporary tech – from sophisticated, voice-operated home command systems to self-parking cars – to make their malevolent presence felt.

Visit Peter James’s website

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US rights to SHADOWPLAY by Joseph O’Connor have been acquired by Michael Reynolds at Europa Editions. The deal was concluded by O’Connor’s agent Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann. Europa will publish in April 2020.

Harvill Secker published SHADOWPLAY in the UK and Canada in June 2019: I t was described as a ‘literary highlight of 2019’ by The Sunday Times and has received rapturous reviews. W.F. Howes published audio in the UK and Dreamscape will publish the US audio edition. Rights have been sold in seven translation markets so far: China (Shanghai Elegant People), Croatia (Fraktura), France (Editions Rivages), Hungary (Helikon), Italy (Guanda), Serbia (Carobna Knjiga) and Sweden (Natur Och Kultur). A film deal is under negotiation with a major producer.

1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker.

Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager’s devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen.

SHADOWPLAY explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.

Michael Reynolds says: ‘Joseph O’Connor is one of the canniest and most accomplished novelists working in English. He can seemingly turn his hand to any subject with extraordinary results. But it is evident that with SHADOWPLAY he has found a subject that ignites a deep affinity and a group of characters whose ambitions, preoccupations and talents somehow echo his own. The effect is impressive – his prose sings and his sure-handed storytelling is a delight. SHADOWPLAY will be a super-lead for the Spring and we at Europa look forward to bringing this thrilling novel to a broad and admiring readership in the U.S.’

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Joseph O’Connor says: ‘I am grateful and excited for SHADOWPLAY to have found its American home at Europa Editions, where the publishing ethic is so strong and impressive. Europa's books, gorgeous objects in themselves, contain some of the most beautiful writing around. I am truly honored for a book of my own to encounter such company.’

Isobel Dixon says: ‘I cannot wait for Bram Stoker, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, as so unforgettably depicted by Joseph O’Connor in SHADOWPLAY, to cross the Atlantic. and win over fresh audiences there. This is a book I’ve seen so many readers fall in love with, and then press into other hands. I’m delighted that Michael Reynolds and Europa also feel so passionately about this tour de force and look forward to their US launch in 2020.’

Praise for Joseph O’Connor and SHADOWPLAY:

‘There are few living writers who can take us back in time so assuredly, with such sensual density, through such gorgeous sentences. Joseph O’Connor is a wonder, and SHADOWPLAY is a triumph.’ – Peter Carey

‘As much as this is a hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love, it is also, movingly – at times, agonisingly – a story of transience, loss and true loyalty.’ – Sadie Jones, The Guardian

‘Joseph O’Connor is a very great artist and storyteller. The quotient of enjoyment in his extraordinary new novel is stupendous.’ – Sebastian Barry

‘Wonderful. The writing is beautiful.’ – Derek Jacobi

‘A hugely entertaining and atmospheric novel, one can almost smell the greasepaint.’ – Deborah Moggach

‘Seriously fascinating’ – Colm Tóibín, The Observer

‘A virtuoso act of literary ventriloquism. SHADOWPLAY is funny, smart, tender, wise and written with inch-perfect precision.’ – Colum McCann 

‘A great writer performing Olympian literary storytelling.’ — Bob Geldof

 About the Author
Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. His books include nine novels: COWBOYS AND INDIANS (Whitbread Prize shortlist), DESPERADOES, THE SALESMAN, INISHOWEN, STAR OF THE SEA (American Library Association Award, Irish Post Award for Fiction, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European novel of the year), REDEMPTION FALLS, GHOST LIGHT (Dublin One City One Book Novel 2011), THE THRILL OF IT ALL and SHADOWPLAY. His work has been published in forty languages. He received the 2012 Irish PEN Award for outstanding achievement in literature and in 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

Visit Joseph O’Connor’s website

Read the Publishers Weekly story

Grace Link Picked as Finalist for Amazon WriterSlam Competition


Huge congratulations to Grace Link, whose script CRACK OF DAWN has landed her in the top 5 of the Amazon/Triforce WriterSlam competition.

The winner of the competition receives a fully-paid 6 month development deal with Amazon Studios, with the hopes of commissioning a new original drama.

The next stage of the competition is a rehearsed reading of each project on Friday 6th September, after which a winner will be announced. Read more about the competition here!

Follow Grace on Twitter.


Her Husband's Mistake HB.jpg

We are delighted that Sheila O’Flanagan’s latest novel, HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE (Headline, UK and Audio), has spent three months in the Top 3 of the Irish Times Bestseller list and remains in the Top 5 this coming week. In its first week of sale, HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE jumped straight to the Number One spot. The paperback edition of HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE will be published in March 2020.

HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE tells the story of Roxy who, after twenty years of marriage and with two carefree kids, thinks she and Dave are still the perfect couple. Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour. Suddenly Roxy isn't sure about anything – her past, the business she's taken over from her dad, or what her family's future might be. She's spent so long caring about everyone else that she's forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make. Whether it's with Dave, or without him, it's time for Roxy to start living for herself.

Sheila O’Flanagan is an international bestselling novelist, with more than 8 million copies sold. Numerous novels have been immediate and long-lasting No 1s in Ireland, UK Top 10 Sunday Times Bestsellers and Kindle Bestsellers. She is widely published around the world and is also a Number One bestseller in Sweden. She is the recipient of the prestigious Irish Tatler Literary Woman of the Year Award.

Praise for Sheila O’Flanagan

‘One of my favourite authors’ – Marian Keyes

'O'Flanagan doesn't skirt the pain of heartache but embraces it along with the humour (and imperfect judgment) that give her characters their aching credibility... Despite some dark themes, the book's overall tone is light and hopeful.' - Irish Independent on HER HUSBAND’S MISTAKE

‘O'Flanagan is one of our best-known, best-loved and most prolific women's fiction authors’ – Irish Independent

O'Flanagan's writing is crisp and concise and her plotting deftBelfast Telegraph

'One of our best storytellers' – Irish Mail on Sunday

Visit Sheila’s website.

Follow Sheila on Twitter.



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Peter James’ explosive international thriller ABSOLUTE PROOF has shot to Number 3 in the Sunday Times paperback bestseller chart, as featured this coming weekend. A Number 1 bestseller in hardback earlier this year, ABSOLUTE PROOF was published in paperback by Pan Macmillan on 25 July.

ABSOLUTE PROOF was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Audiobook of the Year in 2018 and was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Book Club 2019.  Judy Finnigan described ABSOLUTE PROOF as ‘Thought-provoking, thrilling, funny and challenging…Peter James’s most ambitious novel yet.’

In ABSOLUTE PROOF, investigative reporter Ross Hunter receives a phone call that will change his life – and possibly the world – for ever.

‘I’d just like to assure you I’m not a nutcase, Mr Hunter. My name is Dr Harry F. Cook. I know this is going to sound strange, but I’ve recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and I’ve been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously.’

What would it take to prove the existence of God? And what would be the consequences?

The false faith of a billionaire evangelist, the life’s work of a famous atheist, and the credibility of each of the world’s major religions are all under threat. If Ross Hunter can survive long enough to present the evidence . . .

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton – translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over twenty million copies – has given him fourteen consecutive Sunday Times Number Ones. In 2015 WH Smith customers voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he was awarded the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger, a lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. In 2018 he received a Specsavers Honorary Platinum Bestseller Award.

Peter’s standalone titles include THE PERFECT MURDER, which has been turned into a smash hit stage play and his chilling ghost story THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL, which had its stage tour in 2019, with the sequel, THE SECRET OF COLD HILL, to be published in October 2019.

Praise for Peter James:

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ — Lee Child

‘Peter James, Britain’s closest equivalent to Stephen King’ — Sunday Times

'Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.' — Karin Slaughter

‘In my thirty-four years of policing, never have I come across a writer who so accurately depicts “The Job“’ —Detective Investigator Pat Lanigan, Office of the District Attorney, NYPD

Follow Peter James on Twitter.

Visit Peter James’ website.