Anna Downes

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The Safe Place

book | Fiction | Jun 2020
US → St Martin's Press Inc (Ed. Catherine Richards)
UK → Hodder and Stoughton (Ed. Eve Hall)
ANZ → Affirm Press (Ed. Martin Hughes and Ruby Ashby)

Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downes’ debut The Safe Place is the perfect summer suspense; a deft examination of the lengths we'll go to protect the facade of a perfect life.

Emily Proudman’s life is in chaos. She’s just lost her acting agent and her job in one miserable day.

Scott Denny has a problem. Even though he’s a successful CEO, neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can come close to fixing it. He’s at a breaking point. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is friendly and agreeable.

Emily is desperate.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily what seems the perfect summer job as a housekeeper and nanny on his remote French estate. Emily is quickly enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and even his strange young daughter, and falls headlong into this apparent paradise.

But before long, Emily realizes that Scott and his wife are hiding dangerous secrets. And if Emily doesn’t play along, the beautiful place they call home might turn out to be a prison from which none of them will ever escape.

A compelling collision of Lisa Jewell’s morally complex family dynamics and Ruth Ware’s modern gothic vibes, The Safe Place is a deliciously sinister suspense novel that will also have you longing for wine-soaked summer days in a French villa by the sea.


Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for The Safe Place

Translation Rights Sold

Uitgeverij De Fontein
Wilhelm Heyne Verlag
Maxim Könyvkiado Kft
Eksmo Publishers

The Safe Place is such a rare thing—a claustrophobic, addictive thriller that lets you actually feel for all of the characters involved. Anna Downes has such skill in
combining the heart-in-mouth feeling that everything is building to a disaster with genuine emotion. I was right behind her as she chose this big change in her life, and in a strange way, right behind Scott and Nina, too, whose stories were heartbreaking.

Gytha Lodge, bestselling author of She Lies in Wait

The Safe Place is a brilliantly atmospheric novel that keeps you equally gripped and unsettled from page one. Starkly original and with an alarmingly plausible premise, this is destined to be a best seller.

JP Pomare, bestselling author of CALL ME EVIE

The Safe Place is a dark and wonderful debut that lulls you in with beautiful prose and complex, believable characters, then beats you over the head with a killer plot and a thrilling climax. It’s the kind of book you race through as quickly as you can so you can start it again. Everyone will be talking about this book!

Christian White, author of The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow

‘The tension ratchets up and up in this beautifully paced thriller -  an outstanding debut.’

Chris Hammer

"I absolutely devoured The Safe Place and lived and breathed every second. The images Anna Downes creates are so vivid and real that I was transported between Soho and France in the flick of an eye. I had no idea where it was going; I just knew I had to hold onto Emily’s coattails and go along for the ride. This
one is going to fly! If you love a suspense thriller with a punch, I’d highly recommend The Safe Place.”

Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of THE OTHER WOMAN

‘I loved The Safe Place… it was tense and atmospheric with the seemingly idyllic yet eerie setting. A truly gripping read.’

Karen Hamilton

Richly evocative with a dark, atmospheric heart, The Safe Place is seductive, irresistible and suspenseful. I was completely gripped from the first page to the pulse-pounding end. 

Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author
Full Review

Wow! Started The Safe Place yesterday evening and had to finish it before I went to sleep! As thrilling and gripping as everyone is saying. Congratulations - can't wait to see this making a splash in the book world on its release. Put this on your #mustread list now, because it will be hot property when it hits shelves in July.

Kate Mildenhall

An exciting and compelling new voice, Anna Downes’ The Safe Place is a very accomplished debut.

B A Paris

Downes keeps the sense of foreboding building as Emily realizes a deadly secret that Nina is hiding. Emily is a compelling character who arrives in France scatterbrained and immature but finds the inner strength to save herself and solve a missing person case that has snowballed into a global obsession."

The Washington Post

Packed full of twists, The Safe Place may be one of the most exciting Australian debuts of the year. 

The AU Review

I've had this one in my teetering pile for a while, and I finally got to it this week. Wow! I devoured this suspenseful, atmospheric, twisty novel. This one is a must-read for sure. Congratulations @anna_downes_writer

Sally Hepworth

‘The author is brilliant at keeping us on tenterhooks … It all comes together in a story that rattles the nerves’.

Weekend Australian

Tara Wynne

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Hillary Jacobson
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Katie Greenstreet
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Translation Rights
Kate Cooper
+44 020 7393 4425
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