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19.10.16 NEWS Bonnier pair bag Bonnier book BY LISA CAMPBELL

Jonas Bonnier right, former c.e.o and president of the Bonnier Group, has signed deals in 18 territories for his novel The Helicopter Heist, based on the events of a Stockholm cash- depot robbery in 2009. Two Bonnier companies— Bonnier Zaffre (UK) and Albert Bonniers (Sweden)—won rights to the book by the man who ran their parent group between 2008–2014. The Bookseller understands that Salomonsson Agency agent Niclas Salomonsson gave the Swedish list three days to read the manuscript without being aware of the writer’s identity, which it only discovered once its bid was accepted. Film rights were won by Netflix at

auction, with actor Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce with his Nine Stories Productions partner

had been tipped off, but the robbers still managed to evade them and emerge unscathed.

Salomonsson said the book

Riva Marker. Meanwhile, the 16 other territories include Canada (S&S), Spain (PRH), Germany (Piper), the Netherlands (The House of Books) and Russia (AST). The 2009 robbery made headlines

around the world; four young men from the Swedish suburbs stole a helicopter and brazenly landed on the rooftop of the largest cash facility in Sweden. Swedish police

was “fun, thrilling and utterly captivating”, adding: “Until now, the four robbers have never spoken publicly about what went down before and during the audacious raid. Through meticulous research and countless interviews with them, Jonas has crafted a wildly entertaining roller-coaster ride of a novel, based on a heist that stunned the police and turned four gangsters into heroes.” Bonnier said: “It is a dream come true to see this incredible story be appreciated by some of the best publishers around the world. I couldn’t be happier.” The four men involved granted Bonnier permission to adapt their story for publication and cinematic adaptation.


Anthony Horowitz has penned a new Alex Rider novel for Walker Books, despite previously announcing that the series had concluded. Walker’s Jane Winterbotham negotiated a deal with Jonathan Lloyd of Curtis Brown for UK, Commonwealth and English-language export rights to Never Say Die, which she described as “the most action-packed and thrilling instalment of the series so far, with sequences set in Egypt, London and Europe”. Horowitz, who had previously stated that he had finished working on the Alex Rider series, said he was inspired to continue his hero’s story while preparing a collection of Rider short stories, to be published in 2018. The writer said: “For the first time in over three years, and contrary to my expectations, I found myself revisiting my character, Alex Rider—and I realised how much I had missed him.”

Libella completes World takeover as Visser steps down

Dutch publisher Eric Visser inset has sold translation specialist World Editions (WE) to the Libella Group. Libella, which has offices in Switzerland,

Poland and France, bought the entirety of WE’s shares and will officially take control of the business during this week’s fair. Libella president Vera Michalski said WE’s values chimed with Libella’s as “an international publishing house that aims to make the most important literary titles available for the greatest possible audience in order to promote an intercultural dialogue”. Visser founded independent publisher De Geus in

1983, building it into one of the Netherlands’ biggest and most respected indies, before launching WE in 2013. The company has subsequently published 40 titles translated into English. Visser will stay on at WE as an interim publisher and consultant until a successor is found. He said: “Publishing in English—in physical and e-books—opens up a world market and builds a strong foundation for publishing in other

languages. In addition, it broadens the opportunities for spin-offs, such as films and audiobooks. I look forward to an exciting future for World Editions, and for translated literature worldwide”.




Faber has acquired The Secret Life by Andrew O’Hagan, a “significant and timely” work of non-fiction. Creative director Lee Brackstone acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Peter Straus at Rogers, Coleridge & White. The book looks at three “elusive” individuals: Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks; Satoshi Nakamoto, the programmer who created virtual currency Bitcoin; and Ronald Pinn, a fake identity created by O’Hagan to explore the “furthest, darkest reaches” of the internet.


Corvus is to publish Troll, a “gripping” and “explosive” psychological thriller by David Thorne. Editorial director Sara O’Keeffe acquired world rights as part of a three-book deal struck with Tina Betts at Andrew Mann. Troll is the story of a young woman who disappears after being hounded by a vicious online troll, and of her father’s search for the truth. O’Keeffe said the book was “as exhilarating as it is darkly prophetic, and will be a key title for Corvus at Frankfurt this year”.


Pan Macmillan has acquired UK rights to The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen inset in a pre-empt. Wayne Brookes, associate publisher, bought rights from Kerry Nording at St Martin’s Press for a high six-figure sum. Brookes said The Wife Between Us was “everything you want from a book: clever, dark, thought-provoking and full of surprises”. Rights have been sold in 22 territories to date, with film rights won by Dreamworks.

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