Wednesday 21 February 2018

Chicklit author signs six-figure deal for crime thriller

Melissa Hill has written a new novel with her husband Kevin, under the pen name Casey Hill
Melissa Hill has written a new novel with her husband Kevin, under the pen name Casey Hill

Bestselling Irish chicklit author Melissa Hill has switched to thriller writing.

A new book she has co-written with her businessman husband Kevin was bought this week for a six-figure sum by Simon & Schuster in the UK and big money deals have also been done for other countries.

The forensic crime thriller is called 'Taboo' and represents a major literary crossover for Melissa whose eight chicklit novels to date have all been bestsellers.

'Taboo' was snapped up by publishers in several countries within 24 hours of being offered by Hill's agent. It's the first in a series she and Kevin will be penning together under the name Casey Hill.

It was written by the pair as they awaited the birth of their first baby, Carrie. Kevin has not written before, but has been advising Melissa on her earlier books and came up with the shocking ending for the new novel. The couple live in Monkstown, south Dublin.

Melissa is already one of Ireland's most successful women's fiction authors, having sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She started writing in 2003 and is now ranked alongside Cathy Kelly and Marian Keyes, with her books published in 16 languages. Her latest novel, 'The Truth about You', has been at the top of the Irish charts for the past six weeks.

But even that success may seem small given the reaction to 'Taboo', a terrifying thriller in the vein of Patricia Cornwell.

The first in a planned series, it features American Riley Steel, a forensic investigator who comes to Dublin to head up the GFU, a new state-of-the-art Irish crime lab .

Melissa said yesterday: "The idea for 'Taboo' had been knocking around for years but I never had time to work on it.

"Kevin always loved the idea and late last year decided he knew exactly how to finish it, so off he went. We both worked back and forth on the manuscript until we felt it was ready."

John Spain Books Editor

Irish Independent

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