21st June 2017
Minette Walters moves to Allen & Unwin UK to publish first full novel in more than a decade
8th May 2017
We are thrilled to announce that Allen & Unwin UK have acquired the magnificent new novel The Last Hours by Minette Walters, which will publish in November 2017.
Minette has been a master of crime fiction for nearly two decades. Now this extraordinary writer turns her talents in a bold new direction; a sweeping, utterly gripping historical novel set during the time of the Black Death in Dorset.
‘I’m thrilled to be joining Allen & Unwin UK, having loved the long association I’ve had with Allen & Unwin in Australia. For a publisher to embrace and support an author’s change of direction – in my case from psychological crime to a novel about survival during the dark and disturbing history of the Black Death – is incredibly exciting. I’ve enjoyed bringing the same analytical qualities to history as I did to crime and hope readers will find The Last Hours as compelling, suspenseful and intriguing as any of my whodunnits.’ – Minette Walters
‘As an avid reader of every novel Minette Walters has ever written, it’s a life’s dream to publish this latest novel. I was gripped by The Last Hours from the first page – it is an astonishing novel, a soaring story that manages to deliver on all fronts, from the tiniest details to the longform narrative. I cannot wait to read book two!’ – Sara O’Keeffe, Editorial Director
About The Last Hours
June, 1348: the Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die by their thousands. A culture of terror and superstition quickly sweeps across the land as news of the Black Death travels far and wide.
In the demesne of Develish, Lady Anne assumes control of her people’s future – including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave, Thaddeus Thurkell, to act as her steward. Together, they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this sudden overturning of the accepted social order, where serfs exist only to serve their lords, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Lady Anne’s people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the safety of the demesne? And how safe is anyone in Develish when a terrible event threatens the uneasy status quo…?
The Last Hours will publish on 2nd November 2017
9781760632137 | £20 | Hardback
9781760632151 | £13.99 | Trade paperback
9781760632151 | eBook
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an early proof…