After an auction that involved four German publishers and lasted into three rounds, I’ve accepted a fantastic, two-book, offer from Blanvalet! They are the publisher of bestselling crime and thriller authors including Elizabeth George, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Slaughter, Lee Child, Ruth Rendell, and many other big names (also German original authors like Charlotte Link). They will publish Jane Casey’s debut thriller, THE MISSING, as a lead title.

Dutch rights were swiftly pre-empted (two books) by Ambo Anthos. They’ve made Nicci French a bigger success than in any country in the world, and they also publish bestselling Dutch suspense authors, Simone van der Vlugt and Esther Verhoef. Ambo Anthos Publisher, Chris Herschdorfer, was convinced by reading THE MISSINGthat they can make Jane Casey a huge success in the Dutch market.

I normally wait for news of an English deal before submitting a new manuscript to foreign publishers, but THE MISSING is a rare exception. Both the Dutch pre-empt and German auction happened before Jane Casey’s primary agent, Simon Trewin, accepted a strong two-book offer from Ebury/UK for their new fiction list led by Editorial Director Gillian Green. Gillian Green commented: “I was blown away by Jane’s writing. THE MISSINGis a beautifully written and utterly compelling crime novel with shades of Nicci French, Sophie Hannah and Kate Atkinson. This is, quite simply, one of the most assured debuts I’ve read in a long time.” Ebury will publish THE MISSINGin hardcover in February 2010 and Jane Casey’s next thriller in Spring 2011.

Another thing that makes THE MISSING a rare exception is that it emerged from Simon Trewin’s slushpile. Jane Casey sent THE MISSINGlast December to Simon Trewin as an unsolicited submission. Simon’s assistant, Ariella, plucked it off Simon’s slushpile and read it over the weekend and called Simon at home on the Sunday alerting him to it. Simon read it overnight and quickly contacted Jane Casey to meet her and sign her up as a new client.

THE MISSINGis the chilling story of a young schoolteacher, Sarah Finch, who discovers the body of one of her 12-year-old pupils lying in the woods. The shock and trauma of this event force Sarah to confront feelings she has tried to suppress for many years about the disappearance of her own brother, Charlie, when she was only seven. Jane Casey’s intense yet sensitive approach to the troubling subject of child abduction immediately draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the heart-racing end.

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