Lesley Crooks, Publishing Manager at Allison & Busby, has acquired UK & Commonwealth Rights (excluding Canada) for Liz Webb’s debut novel The Daughter to be published in hardback, audio and as an eBook on 19 May 2022. International deals have also been made in Serbia (Vulkan), Germany (Goldmann) and Norway (Vigmostad & Bjorke).
The Daughter is a dark family mystery with a memorable narrator that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth is Missing and The Girl on the Train. The author’s background in BBC radio and stand-up comedy colours this sharply plotted debut set in contemporary London as a woman attempts to impose order on her own chaotic life and untangle the mystery of her mother’s brutal murder.
Hannah Davidson has a dementia-stricken father, an estranged TV star brother, and a mother whose death opened up hidden fault lines beneath the surface of their ordinary family life. Hannah is losing her grip on both her drinking and a cache of shameful secrets. Now the spitting image of her mother Jen Davidson, and exactly the same age she was when she died, Hannah is determined to uncover exactly what happened to her mum, but soon the boundaries between Hannah and her mother become fatally blurred.
Lesley Crooks said: ‘What impressed all of the team at Allison & Busby was how strongly Liz conveyed Hannah’s voice, flawed and spiky as it is. Readers are in for a treat as they follow Hannah navigating the lingering aftershocks of her mother’s death. We cannot wait to share this assured debut next year.’
Madeleine Milburn said: ‘From the moment I picked up Liz’s manuscript, I was immediately drawn in by her original, standout premise of a daughter unlocking the mystery surrounding her mother’s death, and when I started reading the pages, I literally couldn’t stop. I am delighted that The Daughter has found a home with Alison & Busby, and that Liz’s tense, plot driven story with a dash of dark humour will find its way into eager readers hands soon.’
Liz Webb said: ‘I am very excited to be publishing my debut novel with the wonderful team at Allison & Busby, after signing with the brilliant Madeleine Milburn Literary, Film and TV Agency. I have loved creating the intense offbeat central character of Hannah and using the prism of her idiosyncratic outlook to explore the themes of splintered siblings, the corrosive effect of family secrets and the agony of dementia in loved ones. I have used my roots in stand-up comedy to develop Hannah’s unusual voice, albeit with a dark lens, and my experience in radio drama production to heap pressure on her from all sides as she struggles against time to solve her mother’s murder … and is eventually forced to become her.’