Set in South Birmingham, DEADLY ANIMALS is a unique and beautifully written crime novel about a small community’s descent into devastation and desperation – and the undying spirit of youth in the face of darkness. It feels like you could really ramp up the horror elements. It was snapped up by Zaffre in a major two-book deal 6-figure pre-empt, and is scheduled for publication in Spring 2024. DEADLY ANIMALS was also a finalist in the Daily Mail First Novel competition; you can read more in The Bookseller here.
Thirteen-year-old Ava Bonney is unlike other children. Exceptionally bright, she has an obsessive interest in the rate at which dead animals decompose. The motorway she lives by regularly offers up roadkill, and in the dead of night Ava likes nothing better than to pull her latest discovery into her roadside den so she can study it.
But one day, when she arrives, she stumbles across the body of local teenager Mickey Grant.
Detective Seth Delahaye is given the case, but Ava is not the sort of person to step back and let someone else take charge when kids like her are dying. She has dealt with bullies all her life – from stepdads to playground trolls. How hard can it be to find a killer?
Marie Tierney is a biology teacher who works in Birmingham. DEADLY ANIMALS is her first novel, and she is represented by Luigi Bonomi and LBA Books.