Grey: New Fifty Shades book 'stolen' just days before its release

'Grey' retells E L James' 'mummy porn' trilogy from the perspective of its male protagonist Christian

Pulses were sent racing at the publisher of E L James's new erotic novel when a copy of the manuscript was found to have been stolen just days before its release.

The draft of Grey, which is due to be released on 18 June and which retells Fifty Shades of Grey from the title character's point of view, was noticed to be missing yesterday by publishers Penguin Random House, according to lawyers acting on behalf of the publisher.

It is feared the book may suffer a similar fate to J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was leaked on the internet in 2007, allowing bloggers to list the characters who died. A spokesman for Scotland Yard said police were unaware of the disappearance of the manuscript.

Penguin Random House declined to comment on the matter but there was even speculation last night that the disappearance might be part of a publicity stunt.

James said she wrote the new novel after fans begged to learn more about Christian Grey's troubled past.

The first in the trilogy of bestselling books nicknamed “mummy porn” has since been turned into a hit film starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

The new book retells the original story from the perspective of the male protagonist played by Dornan.

"Christian is a complex character and readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past," James said.

The trilogy, which includes Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, has sold more than 125 million copies worldwide.