As reported in the BooksellerElizabeth Kay’s debut thriller Seven Lies has been bought at auction in the UK and the US.

UK & Commonwealth rights were acquired by Lucy Malagoni at Little, Brown / Sphere for a significant six-figure deal and North American rights were acquired at auction by Pamela Dorman at Penguin Random House / Viking / Pamela Dorman books in a major deal. The novel will be published simultaneously in the UK and US in 2020.

The novel has been sold into eighteen other territories so far, with Brazilian, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Swedish rights being sold in the first three weeks.

Lucy Malagoni at Sphere said: Seven Lies is that very rare book indeed and one of the most accomplished and spellbinding debuts I’ve ever read – it thrilled me to the core, it chilled me to the bone and I absolutely can’t wait to publish it.”

Elizabeth said of the deal: “I have been overwhelmed by the response to Seven Lies and I am thrilled that it will be published in the UK by Lucy and the amazing team at Sphere. Their enthusiasm was evident from the very beginning and I’m so looking forward to working with them.”

Madeleine Milburn said: “Elizabeth Kay’s mesmeric storytelling has resonated with publishers across the globe. Moving away from the unreliable narrator, Elizabeth has created a protagonist who tells the truth as she unpicks each of her seven lies. As well as being a publicist’s dream, Seven Lies will translate very well for film and TV, with a strong female protagonist who reminded me of Killing Eve’s‘ Villanelle.

The novel follows the friendship of Jane and Marnie…

If lies are dangerous then the truth can be catastrophic…

Jane and Marnie have been inseparable since they were eleven years old.

In their early twenties they fell in love with and married handsome young men. But Jane never much liked Marnie’s husband. He was always so loud and obnoxious, so much larger than life. Which is rather ironic.

Because if Jane had been honest – if she hadn’t told those lies – then perhaps her best friend’s husband might still be alive…

This is Jane’s opportunity to tell the truth and, as she narrates their shared history and unpicks each of her seven lies, she reveals the pockets of darkness that have infiltrated their friendship and the toxic secrets still bubbling beneath.

Elizabeth Kay started her career as an assistant at Penguin Random House. She is now a commissioning editor and is simultaneously pursuing her passion for writing. She lives in London with her husband.