BBC Films and Shine Pictures have acquired the rights to Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith’s new psychological thriller, The Farm.

The mystery novel set in London and Sweden reached number two in the UK bestseller charts during its opening month and also proved a bestseller in Australia, Germany and Israel.

It is the latest book from Tom Rob Smith, whose Child 44 trilogy has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, the first of which has been made as a film directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, and is due for release this year. He also created the five-part BBC backed mini-series, London Spy, which will air in 2015.

Brought into Shine Pictures by head of literary acquisitions Sue Swift, The Farm will be produced by Ollie Madden for Shine Pictures, with Christine Langan executive producing for BBC Films.

Madden, head of film at Shine, said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Tom’s novels since Child 44, and when I picked up The Farm I read it in one, enrapt sitting.

“It’s very rare that you read something which is simultaneously thrilling, thought-provoking, totally unpredictable and packs a real emotional punch. We look forward to adapting Tom’s brilliant work into a feature film”.

BBC Films head Langan added: “The Farm skewers you on the horns of a fabulous dilemma while effortlessly drawing you into a curious and strangely sinister world.

“Tom Rob Smith’s latest novel is a sophisticated, layered narrative with real page turning urgency and BBC Films is thrilled to be partnering with Shine in its journey to the big screen.”

The story centres on Daniel, who believes his parents are living a peaceful life on a farm in rural Sweden until he receives a frantic call from his father. He is shocked to discover that his mother has escaped from a mental hospital shortly after being committed. Just as this news begins to sink in, he receives a phone call from his mother - she is already en-route to London and she pleads with him to allow her the chance to tell her story.

He must decide whether she is a victim of a terrible conspiracy, or, as his father fears, is suffering a psychotic episode and soon becomes entwined in a tale of secrets, lies, and a horrible crime that implicates his own father.

Shine are currently in pre-production on Spooks: The Greater Good, a feature film based on the hit Kudos-produced spy dramaand recently announced crime thriller Blowback, which shoots later this year and was written by Gregory Burke (‘71) and to be directed by Danish film-maker Janus Metz.

BBC Films upcoming titles include Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, which opens in March; Joanna Hogg’s Exhibition, which will be released in April; and Ben Kellett’s Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie - based on the hit BBC comedy series - that will be released in cinemas this summer.