The novel is billed as “an intoxicating upmarket psychological thriller with shades of The Secret History for the Me Too era". A girl hiding from her past turns up at Edinburgh University, where she is lured in by a mysterious foursome who are far from your typical students.
Vikki Moynes, assistant editor at Viking, pre-empted world rights from Emily Glenister at the DHH Literary Agency in a six-figure deal. The debut will be published in January 2023.
“Heather Darwent is the fresh new voice in this area I’ve been searching for,” Moynes said. “Heather takes us on a journey from the dazzling spires of Edinburgh to the dripping staircases and dark alleyways of its underbelly. With her absorbing storytelling, observational prowess and absolutely shocking twists, she has written a new kind of psychological thriller that examines age-old concerns in a truly original way: the dark side of friendship and privilege; and that enduring human conundrum of the self we present to the world versus our true nature.”
She added: “I am so thrilled to be bringing this magnificent writer to the Viking list.”
Darwent is originally from Yorkshire and now lives in Edinburgh where she works for a technology start-up.
She commented: “I’m so excited to work with Vikki and the team at Viking. The Things We Do To Our Friends came from a deep fascination with the secrets of student life, paired with an enduring obsession with the gothic city of Edinburgh. As soon as I first spoke with Vikki, I knew she'd be the absolute best person to bring the twists of this dark tale to life, and I hope that everyone who has ever felt that sense of not quite belonging can relate in a way to my cast of flawed and dangerous characters.”
Glenister said: “From reading the first page of Heather’s spellbinding debut, I was hooked. Her writing is so evocative and gets right under your skin. The dark and toxic side of the elite is something that will never cease to fascinate and Heather’s book puts a fresh, new spin on things.”