EXCLUSIVE: Columbia Pictures has pre-emptively acquired the rights to Where the Devil Hides, a new gothic horror novel by Craig Russell.

Set in Eastern Europe, Where the Devil Hides follows a physician set to experiment on the six deadliest killers in history, who’ve been imprisoned for life within a remote mental asylum that has a dark history and bloody secrets all its own.

The U.S. publishing rights to the novel just sold to Doubleday’s Jason Kaufman, the same editor who shepherded Dan Brown’s mega-bestselling The Da Vinci Code, which was adapted into a $1.4 billion film franchise also by Columbia Pictures. Little, Brown UK (Constable Books) will release the book, tentatively due out April 2019 stateside and in the UK.

Jake Bauman, Sony Pictures’ new VP literary development in New York, first discovered the book. David Beaubaire and Kira Thompson will oversee for Columbia. Joel Gotler at IPG negotiated the film deal working in conjunction with David Higham Associates.