FocusFeatures and Random House Films have acquired film rights to best sellingauthor Dean Koontz's upcoming thriller The Husband.

Developmentwill begin straight away on The Husband,which will be published on May 30 in North America through Random House'sBantam Books imprint.

Koontz'sstory centres on a harrowing 60-hour period in a man's life that begins with aphone call from a stranger and tests his love for his wife.

"DeanKoontz has a written a wonderful, suspenseful novel, one which meritscomparison to the best of Hitchcock," Focus president James Schamus said."Our goal is to create a film of the quality that we brought to our filmversion of John le Carre's The Constant Gardener."

"DeanKoontz is a master of writing about the necessity of love in a world that isall too often dominated by evil," Random House Films president PeterGethers added.

"Inreturning to that theme in The Husband,he has told a story that will make for a film equal parts touching andterrifying."

TheHusband is the third Random House titleacquired by the joint venture announced last November. The partners will jointlydevelop, finance and produce a jointly owned slate and Focus will handleworldwide distribution and sales.

Theother two projects are Yasmina Khadra's Middle East-set novel The Attack, which is due to be published in May, and Bob Drogin'snon-fiction account of the build-up to the Iraq war Curveball, which will be published in autumn 2007.