HQ Editor Kate Mills issued the fastest pre-empt Noel's agent David Headley has ever seen. Billed as a "Poldark-esque", the pre-empt was sent along with a page from the Sherborne Mercury from the 1800s, tied to a traditional Cornish hevva cake (which we can confirm was delicious).
Wrecker is set in a remote Cornish fishing village where a young woman, Mary Blight, loots the corpses washed up from the shipwrecks. Unlacing the books of a drowned noblewoman, Mary finds herself the focus of rumour and suspicion when the body's ears are discovered to have been bitten off, along with a pair of priceless earrings.
Kate Mills said: "From the opening line of Wrecker, I was utterly entranced by this wonderful debut, which reads like a gloriously gothic update on Jamaica Inn. Not only does Noel O'Reilly breathe life in to the past, he's got an amazing capacity to bring darkness and terror to it as well, weaving a world steeped in superstition, where not conforming is the worst of crimes. Mary is a woman ahead of her time, vibrant, wily and cunning."
Agent David Headley said: "Wrecker is an impressive debut and the offer from Kate was the fastest pre-empt I have ever received. There was an immediate excitement and interest when the book went out on submission, which confirmed my belief that Noel had written a very special book and had created a memorable, spirited and shrewd character in Mary Blight."
DHH client Noel O'Reilly said: "Ever since I first breathed the magical air of Cornwall, I've been back again and again. Writing Wrecker allowed me to return there for many intense months, this time in my imagination. I am thrilled that HQ is going to unleash my heroine Mary on to an unsuspecting world."
Wrecker is set for release in summer 2018.