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Zaffre commissions “heart-racing” Manila thriller from Manibo 

Zaffre, the flagship fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK’s Zaffre Publishing Group, has signed a “heart-racing thriller” from Victor Manibo based on the real-life ‘My Way’ killings.

Assistant Editor Isabella Boyne commissioned the project and acquired world rights in all languages, including film and TV, from Eddie Schneider at JABberwocky.

Dead Note is an arresting, dual-narrative thriller with a true crime twist about a washed-up singer in a cat-and-mouse chase across Manila as she tries to bring her father’s killer to justice. The story is based on the real-life ‘My Way killings’, a number of fatal disputes which arose from the singing of ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra.

Mia Cordova’s world imploded when her father was shot dead in front of her while singing a karaoke classic. The police insisted that his death was the result of a random barroom brawl – an open and shut case – but when, three years later, another man is killed in the same way, singing the same song, Mia is convinced the two killings must be connected. 

When a newspaper article draws a link between the murders, Mia is thrown into an investigation that leads her into a world of interrogations, gambling rings and shootouts. With the police quick to cast suspicion on her, Mia must bring her father’s killer to justice alone. But can she catch a killer before she becomes his next victim?

Isabella Boyne said: ‘I am so incredibly excited to get the opportunity to work with a writer as talented as Victor and to get to showcase our shared Filipino heritage in this heart-racing thriller.’

Manibo is a Filipino novelist living in New York. A 2022 Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Fellow, he is the author of the science fiction novels The Sleepless and Escape Velocity.

Dead Note will be published in paperback, audio and eBook in July 2025.