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Universal Pictures has picked up the film rights for City of Saints & Thieves, the debut YA novel from Natalie C Anderson.

The New York Times Book Review described the debut as, `A twisty-turny-chock-full-of-secrets, so exciting-you-have-to-force-yourself-to-take-breaks-and-breathe kind of novel. City of Saints & Thieves will pull you from the very first page into a rarely seen world, violent and beautiful, where the only rule is survival and the only weapons are a young woman's courage and love.' The book has been likened to The Hunger Games.

In City of Saints & Thieves street-thief Tina breaks in to the luxurious house where her mother was killed to steal from Mr. Greyhill and nail him for her mother's murder. She is caught red-handed. 

Saved by Mr Greyhill's gorgeous son, Michael, the pair set in motion a cascade of dangerous events that lead them deeper into the mystery, and reveal dark and shocking secrets from Tina's past. 

Tina and her mother fled the Congo years ago as refugees, trading the uncertain danger of their besieged village for a new, safer life in the bustling Kenyan metropolis. The corruption and politics of the Congo, and the gangster world of Sangui City, are behind Tina's mother's downfall. Is Tina tough enough to find the truth and bring the killer to justice? 

The book was published by Oneworld’s Rock the Boat imprint in July.

Shadi Doostdar, editor at Oneworld said: "It’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl and I can’t wait to see it brought to life on the big screen! Natalie has written a real page-turner with a unique and feisty protagonist in Tina, that is unafraid to explore gritty themes that draw on her work in Africa."

Natalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has spent the last decade working with NGOs and the UN on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa.

You can buy the book here in Australia and here in the UK.

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