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Crime Debut Ragdoll sells to Trapeze in major pre-empt

Conville & Walsh are delighted to announce that Sam Eades, Senior Commissioning Editor at Trapeze, has pre-empted a major debut crime series for a six figure sum from former paramedic Daniel Cole. Sue Armstrong, who discovered Daniel’s brilliant work in the unsolicited submissions (aka the ‘slush pile’), struck the three book deal for UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada. Just prior to this TV rights were snapped after fierce competition by Sid Gentle whose huge new drama adaptation of The Durrells has just aired on ITV to critical acclaim.


The series will introduce readers to controversial detective Nathan Wolfe, reinstated to the Met Police after months of psychological assessment following accusations of a shocking assault. In the series opener RAGDOLL, Wolfe is called to a crime scene by former partner, Detective Emily Baxter, who leads him to a career-defining cadaver: the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet – a corpse that will become known in the press as the ‘ragdoll’. With six victims to identify, the stakes are raised when Wolfe’s ex-wife, reporter Andrea Hall, is anonymously sent photographs from the crime scene along with a list of six names… and the dates on which the ‘Ragdoll Killer’ intends to murder them.

Sam Eades said: ‘In just 48 hours the prospect of publishing Daniel Cole and his Nathan Wolfe series has electrified everyone at Orion, from the assistants to the MD, and from here in London to our colleagues on the other side of the world.  We all have a favourite character, from series lead Wolfe to the flawed but brilliant Emily Baxter and new copper on the block Detective Alex Edmunds. With a cracking hook and addictive storytelling that delivers the power and pace of the best thriller writing, there is no doubt that Ragdoll is going to be huge. We’ve got Ragdoll fever, and cannot wait to introduce readers to the next superstar of the crime fiction world in Daniel Cole.’

Katie Espiner, MD said: ‘Believe the hype: this is an outstanding debut. Pulse-racing, read-through-your-fingers, can’t look away stuff. I haven’t felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck like this on picking up a crime debut for years and years. I know we can launch him with a bang straight onto the bestseller lists.’

Daniel Cole said: “I am delighted that Ragdoll has found its perfect home with Orion/Trapeze. The overwhelming level of support and enthusiasm from Sam and the entire team has been incredible. My intention was to create a completely fresh take on the crime novel: something pacey, yet thought-provoking; irreverent, yet moving; gripping, unpredictable and relentlessly entertaining – Pure escapism playing out on the everyday streets of central London. At its heart, I wanted a cast of truly engrossing characters, whose imploding lives and tangled relationships would captivate even on a run-of-the-mill case… which the Ragdoll investigation, most certainly, is not.”

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

RAGDOLL will be published by Trapeze in January 2017 in hardback, ebook and audio.
For translation rights enquiries please contact the Conville & Walsh translation rights department
For US rights enquiries please contact Esther Newberg at ICM Partners

07 Apr 2016