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Brade’s ‘explosive’ feminist revenge thriller snapped up by Zaffre

Zaffre, the flagship fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired an ‘explosive’ feminist revenge thriller by debut author, Scarlett Brade at auction. Senior Editor Kelly Smith acquired world English language rights from Kate Burke at Blake Friedmann in her first acquisition for the imprint.

The Hive is a feminist revenge thriller which opens powerfully with the protagonist confessing to killing her ex-boyfriend’s new partner via Instagram Live and inviting viewers, and by extension the reader, to vote on whether he should live or die. The novel celebrates sisterhood and raises important questions about the relationship between social media and mental health, and child loss, whether by choice, chance or circumstance.

Kelly Smith said: ‘Scarlett is a breath of fresh air in the genre. She writes of matters usually considered taboo, but which in reality are just part of the day-to-day female experience. The Hive is by turns compelling and thought-provoking, while Scarlett’s portrayal of four friends, supporting each other through their individual troubles, is uplifting.’

Scarlett Brade is the daughter of parents who migrated from the Caribbean to England in the early 1970s. She was born and educated in London, though as a child she spent her summers in Canada, where she developed her love affair with reading. The Hive is her first psychological thriller novel and was inspired by the author’s own relationship with a high-profile sportsman where social media interfered.

Scarlett Brade said: ‘I’m over the moon that Zaffre has decided to publish my first book, The Hive. It’s a dream come true and an honour to join a list of authors whose books have been a powerful influence on my own writing. I have been harbouring this idea for three years and wanted to tell a story that provokes discussions on subjects we deem unmentionable. One of the things I love about this novel is how it tests our moral compass, leaving the reader with the burning question ‘What would you do?’ long after the pages have ended. The Hive is my take on Sex and the City meets Gone Girl, and I cannot wait to share it with the world.’

Kate Burke said: ‘Scarlett is such an exciting new voice for the thriller genre, and I’m delighted that Zaffre will be launching The Hive in such a big way next year. This is an explosive book that will get everyone talking!’

The Hive will be published in hardback, audio and eBook in July 2022, with the paperback following in summer 2023.