One would think that a Richard & Judy pick would have a bit more fanfare when his next book deal is picked up. And in the UK, that is indeed the case for Jed Rubenfeld, as the Bookseller reports that Headline Review associate publisher Mary-Anne Harrington bought British Commonwealth rights from Cathryn Summerhayes at William Morris UK for Rubenfeld’s next novel, THE DEATH INSTINCT. The new novel is set roughly ten years after THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, opening with the Wall Street terrorist attack on September 1920, in which the heroes of the first book, police detectives Stratham Younger and James Littlemore, are caught up.

“THE DEATH INSTINCT promises to be the most brilliant companion piece to THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER,” Harrington said in the announcement. “I’ve never read such a strong proposal: it has all the verve and drama of the first book, with the same electric sense of excitement about the murder mystery and about a completely different, darker side to Freud. Although the novel works absolutely as a stand-alone thriller, fans of the first book will be in for a huge treat: we encounter many of our favourite characters from Interpretation, but there are plenty of surprises, too.”

All the breathlessness is well and good, but what about the US rights? Turns out that Rubenfeld’s agent, Suzanne Gluck of William Morris, has moved her author from Henry Holt to Riverhead, where Geoff Kloske and Jake Morrissey bought North American rights. It’s not surprising, considering INTERPRETATION didn’t end up performing to the original advance and hype’s expectations , which would make the follow-up less of a sure bet for Holt (even if the paperback, published by Picador, seems to be doing a lot better.) Morrissey, who will have primary editing duties on the manuscript, hadn’t returned queries by email and telephone at the time of this writing, and no word yet – if ever – what sort of advance Riverhead paid out, though the easy conjecture would be on considerably less money than $800K…