A first thriller that HarperCollins executive editor Dan Conaway describes as "the scariest thing I've read since Silence of the Lambs-- and very sophisticated" inspired him to preempt it, after reading only 30 pages, from agent Simon Lipskar at Writers House. It's called Tropic of Night, is set in contemporary Miami and is by Seattle-based Ph.D. and technical writer Michael Gruber. Conaway bought world English, and is expecting strong interest at the London Book Fair--as is the agent for translation rights, Maja Nikolic. He aims to publish, in the Morrow list, a year from now.