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Rachel Rayner

Rachel Rayner - Editor

Zürich, Switzerland

Crime thriller and historical fiction specialist with 10+ years' editing experience at Penguin Random House and HarperCollins

Overview

Reviews (1)

I’m an independent development editor having spent over ten years working in editorial at Penguin Random House and HarperCollins in London. I left London to move to Zürich, Switzerland, and now work as a freelance development editor for various publishing companies and literary agencies.

My most recent in-house role was Commissioning Editor for Crime Thrillers in the Transworld division of Penguin Random House. There I commissioned Ghostman, a debut novel by Roger Hobbs, which went on to win the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller in 2013. I was also lucky enough to edit and publish crime novels from Belinda Bauer, Sharon Bolton, RD Wingfield's DI Frost prequels and Cath Staincliffe's Scott & Bailey series as well as psychological fiction by Paula Daly.

My experience isn't limited to the crime and thriller genre. I currently work closely with a giant of historical adventure writing in a freelance capacity and during my time at HarperCollins I edited historical fiction by SJ Parris and James McGee.

I am passionate about discovering new voices and working alongside authors to realise their full potential. For those of you ready for an in-depth development edit, I am able to give technical and creative advice on all elements of your work. I will examine plot and continuity, characterisation, tension, suspense and pace, as well as your writing and dialogue. I also provide an editorial assessment service for those of you who are not quite ready for this stage but would like some honest, but gentle, feedback on their work.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Services
Languages
English (UK)
Fiction
Adventure Crime & Mystery Historical Fiction Thriller Women's Fiction

Certifications

  • BA (Hons) English Language and Literature, King's College London
  • PgDip Publishing Studies, City University
  • Copyediting & Proofreading, The Publishing Training Centre London

Work experience

Development Editor

Self-employed
March, 2016 – Present (over 1 year)

Commissioning Editor (Crime and Thrillers)

Transworld Publishers (Penguin Random House UK)
September, 2011 – March, 2015 (over 3 years)

Assistant Editor, HarperFiction

HarperCollins Publishers UK
May, 2009 – September, 2011 (over 2 years)

Producer

The Book Club Boutique
March, 2009 – March, 2010 (about 1 year)

Assistant Editor

Fourth Estate (HarperCollins Publishers UK)
May, 2008 – May, 2009 (about 1 year)

Editorial Assistant

Ebury Press (Penguin Random House UK)
August, 2004 – April, 2008 (over 3 years)

Portfolio (14 selected works)

Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

Paula Daly

Your friend's child is missing. It's your fault.No family is perfect.A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend's daughter.But no one has seen her since yesterday.And she's not the first to go missing from your small town.So who's hiding something?

Your friend's child is missing. It's your fault.No family is perfect.A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend's daughter.But no one has seen her since yesterday.And she's not the first to go missing from your small town.So who's hiding something?

Keep Your Friends Close

Paula Daly

'Fiendishly addictive' GUARDIANYour best friend isn’t who you think she is.You’ve been friends since university, when you became the people you are today.You don’t see each other enough but when you do it’s as if you’ve never been apart.She’s one of the family. You would trust her with your life, your children, your husband.And when your daughter is rushed to hospital, you’re grateful that she... read more

'Fiendishly addictive' GUARDIANYour best friend isn’t who you think she is.You’ve been friends since university, when you became the people you are today.You don’t see each other enough but when you do it’s as if you’ve never been apart.She’s one of the family. You would trust her with your life, your children, your husband.And when your daughter is rushed to hospital, you’re grateful that she... read more

Ghostman

Roger Hobbs

'Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!' Lee Child (author of the Jack Reacher novels)I make things disappear. It’s what I do. This time I’m tidying up the loose ends after a casino heist gone bad. The loose ends being a million cash. But I only have 48 hours, and there’s a guy out there who wants my head in a bag.He’ll ... read more

'Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!' Lee Child (author of the Jack Reacher novels)I make things disappear. It’s what I do. This time I’m tidying up the loose ends after a casino heist gone bad. The loose ends being a million cash. But I only have 48 hours, and there’s a guy out there who wants my head in a bag.He’ll ... read more

Rubbernecker

Belinda Bauer

*Winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award* 'Taking the psychological thriller into new territory' IndependentLife is strange for Patrick Fort - being a medical student with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t come without its challenges. And that’s before he is faced with solving a possible murder. Because the body Patrick is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him ... read more

*Winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award* 'Taking the psychological thriller into new territory' IndependentLife is strange for Patrick Fort - being a medical student with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t come without its challenges. And that’s before he is faced with solving a possible murder. Because the body Patrick is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him ... read more

Like This, For Ever: Lacey Flint Series, Book 3

Sharon Bolton

'Nail-biting!' TESS GERRITSEN'Spine-tingling!' LISA GARDNERTwelve-year-old Barney Roberts is obsessed with a series of murders.He knows the victims are all boys, just like him.He knows the bodies were found on river banks.And he’s sure the killer will strike again soon.But there’s something else, a secret he’d rather not know, a secret he is too scared to share . . .And who would believe a twe... read more

'Nail-biting!' TESS GERRITSEN'Spine-tingling!' LISA GARDNERTwelve-year-old Barney Roberts is obsessed with a series of murders.He knows the victims are all boys, just like him.He knows the bodies were found on river banks.And he’s sure the killer will strike again soon.But there’s something else, a secret he’d rather not know, a secret he is too scared to share . . .And who would believe a twe... read more

Morning Frost: DI Jack Frost series 3

James Henry

A gripping prequel to R. D. Wingfield's A TOUCH OF FROST, perfect for fans of David Jason's Jack Frost and readers who love Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Lynda La Plante.November 1982. It’s been one of the worst days of DS Jack Frost’s life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton’s finest.All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clarke, who has been summ... read more

A gripping prequel to R. D. Wingfield's A TOUCH OF FROST, perfect for fans of David Jason's Jack Frost and readers who love Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Lynda La Plante.November 1982. It’s been one of the worst days of DS Jack Frost’s life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton’s finest.All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clarke, who has been summ... read more

Fatal Frost: DI Jack Frost series 2

James Henry

The second in the prequel series to R D Wingfield's A TOUCH OF FROST, for fans of David Jason's Jack Frost and crime-fiction readers.May, 1982. Britain celebrates the sinking of the Belgrano, Princess Diana prepares for the birth of her first child and Denton Police Division welcomes its first black policeman, DS Waters - recently relocated from East London. While the force is busy dealing wit... read more

The second in the prequel series to R D Wingfield's A TOUCH OF FROST, for fans of David Jason's Jack Frost and crime-fiction readers.May, 1982. Britain celebrates the sinking of the Belgrano, Princess Diana prepares for the birth of her first child and Denton Police Division welcomes its first black policeman, DS Waters - recently relocated from East London. While the force is busy dealing wit... read more

Dead To Me: Scott & Bailey series 1

Cath Staincliffe

A daughter’s deathA teenage girl is found brutally murdered in her squalid flat.A mother’s loveHer mother is devastated. She gave her child up to the care system, only to lose her again, and is convinced that the low-life boyfriend is to blame.Two ordinary women, one extraordinary jobDC Rachel Bailey has dragged herself up from a deprived childhood and joined the Manchester Police. Rachel’s bo... read more

A daughter’s deathA teenage girl is found brutally murdered in her squalid flat.A mother’s loveHer mother is devastated. She gave her child up to the care system, only to lose her again, and is convinced that the low-life boyfriend is to blame.Two ordinary women, one extraordinary jobDC Rachel Bailey has dragged herself up from a deprived childhood and joined the Manchester Police. Rachel’s bo... read more

Bleed Like Me: Scott & Bailey series 2

Cath Staincliffe

A family manThe bodies of a man, woman and child are found, lying in pools of blood. The owner of the inn where the bodies are discovered has fled. But he’s not alone – he’s taken his two young sons with him. No one knows what he’s going to do next...A professional frontDC Janet Scott has survived a terrifying attack, and is now having second thoughts about her life and steady marriage – but i... read more

A family manThe bodies of a man, woman and child are found, lying in pools of blood. The owner of the inn where the bodies are discovered has fled. But he’s not alone – he’s taken his two young sons with him. No one knows what he’s going to do next...A professional frontDC Janet Scott has survived a terrifying attack, and is now having second thoughts about her life and steady marriage – but i... read more

Ruthless (Scott & Bailey Series Book 3)

Cath Staincliffe

A community on the brink.An abandoned chapel burns. In this part of Manchester, destruction is not unusual. But this time, the body of a man lies inside.And it’s down to Scott and Bailey to save them all...Detective Constable Rachel Bailey is struggling to come to terms with huge change, just as her partner, DC Janet Scott grapples with a horrifying tragedy. But they must put aside their own t... read more

A community on the brink.An abandoned chapel burns. In this part of Manchester, destruction is not unusual. But this time, the body of a man lies inside.And it’s down to Scott and Bailey to save them all...Detective Constable Rachel Bailey is struggling to come to terms with huge change, just as her partner, DC Janet Scott grapples with a horrifying tragedy. But they must put aside their own t... read more

Girl with a One-Track Mind: Confessions of the Seductress Next Door

Abby Lee

The bestselling book that changed the way we talk about sex...'They say men think about sex every eight seconds - I want to know what they think about for the other seven...'Abby Lee is smart, sassy, and perpetually single. Frustrated with her mediocre love-life, she's now looking for the kind of sex she's always wanted. This is the intimate diary of her extraordinary journey.Never one to turn... read more

The bestselling book that changed the way we talk about sex...'They say men think about sex every eight seconds - I want to know what they think about for the other seven...'Abby Lee is smart, sassy, and perpetually single. Frustrated with her mediocre love-life, she's now looking for the kind of sex she's always wanted. This is the intimate diary of her extraordinary journey.Never one to turn... read more

Heresy

S. J. Parris

A vivid and gripping historical thriller set in Elizabethan England introducing Giordano Bruno - philosopher, spy and hero of the stunning new novel SACRILEGE - for all fans of C.J.Sansom and The Name of the Rose.In Elizabeth’s England, true faith can mean bloody murder…Oxford, 1583. A place of learning. And murderous schemes.The country is rife with plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and re... read more

A vivid and gripping historical thriller set in Elizabethan England introducing Giordano Bruno - philosopher, spy and hero of the stunning new novel SACRILEGE - for all fans of C.J.Sansom and The Name of the Rose.In Elizabeth’s England, true faith can mean bloody murder…Oxford, 1583. A place of learning. And murderous schemes.The country is rife with plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and re... read more

The Trinity Six

Charles Cumming

FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER 2012 FOR BEST THRILLER OF THE YEAR. Perfect for fans of John le Carré, a gripping and suspenseful spy thriller from ‘the master of the modern spy thriller’ (Mail on Sunday)Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for the book that could solve all his career problems. But the story of a lifetime becomes an obsession that could ki... read more

FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER 2012 FOR BEST THRILLER OF THE YEAR. Perfect for fans of John le Carré, a gripping and suspenseful spy thriller from ‘the master of the modern spy thriller’ (Mail on Sunday)Hard-up Russia expert Dr Sam Gaddis finally has a lead for the book that could solve all his career problems. But the story of a lifetime becomes an obsession that could ki... read more

Rebellion

James McGee

Rebellion is brewing in Napoleonic Paris, in the action-packed novel from the author of the bestselling Ratcatcher.October 1812: Britain and France are still at war. France is engaged on two battle fronts - Spain and Russia - and her civilians are growing weary of the fight. Rebellion is brewing. Since Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself as First Consul, there have been several attempts to ei... read more

Rebellion is brewing in Napoleonic Paris, in the action-packed novel from the author of the bestselling Ratcatcher.October 1812: Britain and France are still at war. France is engaged on two battle fronts - Spain and Russia - and her civilians are growing weary of the fight. Rebellion is brewing. Since Napoleon Bonaparte appointed himself as First Consul, there have been several attempts to ei... read more

Rachel has 1 review

Professionalism
Quality
Value
Communication

Katya Kuleshova

I really enjoy working with Rachel on my novel opening. She provided many helpful suggestions in places where I struggled. In the course of our communication, Rachel responded promptly and to the point. As a debut writer, I feel like my novel is in good hands and I trust Rachel to help me further improve it as we keep working on the whole manuscript.

, September 2017

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