Canelo Crime snap up rights to post-9/11 cold case crime thriller

September 08, 2021

Publishing Director Louise Cullen has acquired UK and Commonwealth excluding Canada and ANZ rights to a new novel by Charlie Donlea from Dorie Simmonds at Dorie Simmonds Agency Ltd.

Twenty Years Later is a contemporary crime novel set in New York. A forensics team working to identify the remains of 9/11 victims at the Ground Zero site find a tiny bone fragment that belonged to Victoria Ford – the first such identification in many years. It is a sensational news story and journalist Avery Mason is determined to get the scoop. When she learns that at the time of her death Victoria was about to go on trial for the murder of her married lover, Avery knows this is the story of a lifetime. What she uncovers soon reveals a much darker mystery, and she cannot ignore the insistant voice of Victoria’s sister, who always refused to believe she was the killer. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing from Avery’s own past, and a secret she thought was dead and buried is about to be her undoing.

Charlie Donlea is the critically acclaimed, USA Today, Indiebound and #1 internationally bestselling author of Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken, Don’t Believe It, Some Choose Darkness, The Suicide House and Twenty Years Later. Published in nearly 30 countries and translated into more than a dozen languages, Donlea has been praised for his ‘soaring pace, teasing plot twists’ (BookPage) and talent for writing an ending that ‘makes your jaw drop’ (The New York Times Book Review). He was born and raised in Chicago, where he continues to live with his wife and two children. Visit him online at

Louise Cullen says: ‘The phrase “page-turner” is used often, but there is no better description for Twenty Years Later. I read the novel in an afternoon, completely swept up in Avery’s investigation of the cold case murder, and also desperate to see how her own carefully constructed life would hold up under strain. The pace is relentless! I am delighted to bring Charlie Donlea to Canelo Crime and cannot wait for UK readers to sample his exciting novel.’

Charlie Donlea says: ‘After my agent read the manuscript of Twenty Years Later she told me the story reminded her of The Firm, only better! Since John Grisham is one of my writing idols, I was ecstatic to hear the feedback. When Louise Cullen sent me an email telling me that she read Twenty Years Later in a single afternoon and became swept up in the suspense and hooked on the mystery, I knew my book had found a home at Canelo. I’m honored to be included in the list of distinguished and bestselling authors that make up the Canelo Crime list.’

Twenty Years Later will be published in January 2022 in ebook and mass market paperback. For more information please contact