14 July 2022
Orenda Books signs Suzy Aspley’s disturbing, atmospheric thriller Crow Moon, in a two-book deal
Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, is delighted to announce the acquisition of World English Language rights for Suzy Aspley’s Crow Moon and a second (untitled) sequel, in a two-book deal negotiated with Euan Thorneycroft at A M Heath.
Set in the fictional village of Strathbran (Glen of Ravens) in Stirlingshire, Scotland, an area steeped in folklore and impenetrable mists, Crow Moon features ex-journalist Martha Strangeways, who discarded her career when her young twins died in a fire. Stricken by guilt that she was not there to save them, Martha carries their remains in a matchbox and struggles to find purpose in her life … until she stumbles across the body of a teenager, strung up on a tree, with a poem about crows inked on his back. Martha is soon drawn into the investigation into his death, teaming up with DI Derek Summers when another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape. With a plot that becomes darker, ever-more paranoid and increasingly enthralling with each page, Crow Moon is also a moving tale of grief and an exploration of psychological damage.
Karen says, ‘Crow Moon is a startling debut, and Suzy has been on my radar for quite some time. She was mentored by Jo Dickinson at Hodder, as part of Hachette's Future Bookshelf Initiative, and won Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect competition, as well as shortlisting the DHH Literary Agency New Voices Award at the inaugural Capital Crime Festival. Suzy brings alive Strathbran and populates it with complex, truly unforgettable characters, including Martha, whose search for redemption drives her to confront her own grief as she works to uncover a serial murderer whose motivation is genuinely creepy. This is an extraordinary first novel, rich in atmosphere – its sense of place reminiscent of the best Scandinavian fiction – exceptionally well plotted, and utterly immersive. I read it in one breathless, terrified gulp, and I have no doubt that readers will do the same.
‘Crow Moon is both convincing procedural and devastating psychological drama, and the start of a truly addictive series. We love books that cleverly marry so many compelling elements, and Crow Moon is a perfect addition to our list.
Suzy says, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be joining Orenda Books and am looking forward to working with Karen and the team. I’ve long admired the many brilliant authors they publish and the beautiful books they produce, and can’t wait to see what they do with my debut novel, Crow Moon.’