Grisham’s sequel to The Firm goes to PRH and Hachette/

 Penguin Random House US imprint Doubleday and Hachette UK imprint Hodder will publish the sequel to John Grisham’s world-famous novel The Firm in October, 30 years after it was made into a hit movie starring Tom Cruise.

US rights were sold to Suzanne Herz, executive vice-president and publisher at Vintage/Anchor, by David Gernert at the Gernert Company.  The book will be published by Doubleday simultaneously in hardcover, as an e-book, and in audio by Penguin Random House, and trade paper by Anchor a year later.  PRH says the initial hardcover first printing will be 1.5 million.

 UK and Commonwealth rights to the book were acquired by Hodder MD Oli Malcolm and publisher Oliver Johnson, also from Gernert.  It was Johnson who first discovered Grisham when he was completely unknown.  He recalls:   “One day in spring 1990, as a junior editor struggling to make his mark, I had the luckiest break of my infant career – at that time submissions from literary agents didn’t arrive with an elegant electronic ‘ping’ but by courier in large Jiffy bags.

 “On that particular day, some four hundred pages of typescript thudded into my in-tray. Inside was a novel called  The Firm by an unknown Southern writer called John Grisham. I started reading it right away. Each of the 400 pages was hypnotically readable and viscerally exciting. A few hours later I was convinced I had in my hands a potential global bestseller. The rest is history –  The Firm launched the career of one of the world’s bestselling authors. We are incredibly excited to be publishing  The Exchange this autumn. It’s sure to thrill millions of fans as much as its famous predecessor 32 years ago.”

 Grisham’s website asks: ‘What became of Mitch and Abby McDeere after they exposed the crimes of Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke and fled the country?  The answer is in  The Exchange,  the riveting sequel to  The Firm,  the blockbuster thriller that launched the career of America’s favourite storyteller. It is now fifteen years later, and Mitch and Abby are living in Manhattan, where Mitch is a partner at the largest law firm in the world. When a mentor in Rome asks him for a favour that will take him far from home, Mitch finds himself at the centre of a sinister plot that has worldwide implications—and once again endangers his colleagues, friends, and family. Mitch has become  a master at staying one step ahead of his adversaries, but this time there’s nowhere  to hide.’

 Grisham, who is 68, practised as a lawyer while writing his first novel A Time to Die which was rejected by 28 publishers and eventually taken on by an indie with an initial print run of just 5,000.  The Firm came next, making it one of the most successful second novels ever.