The manuscript of E.L. James’s upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey novel, Grey, has been stolen from publisher Random House ahead of its publication.
Police has launched an investigation after the publisher discovered a copy of Grey had gone missing on June 8.
It is feared thieves may leak the novel, or sell extracts to the media.
Random House and solicitors for the publisher would not give any other information about the missing book.
A publisher’s spokesman said: “We have no comment to make due to an ongoing police investigation.”
A spokesman for Kent Police said: “Officers are making inquiries after receiving a report that a book had been stolen on June 8.”
The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has sold more than 125 million copies worldwide since the first book’s release in 2011.
When announcing the release of Grey last week, E.L. James said she wrote the new book after “thousands of readers” had written to her requesting to hear Christian Grey’s point of view.
Grey will be published on June 18 – Christian Grey’s birthday.