Prime Suspect producer Sally Head is to make a three-part ITV thriller starring Anna Friel as a widowed schoolteacher.

What To Do When Someone Dies is based on the novel of the same name by Nicci Gerrard and Sean French and portrays Ellie Manning (Friel) coming to terms with the death of her husband Greg in a horrific car accident while travelling with a mystery woman.

Consumed by grief and unable to accept her husband’s infidelity, Manning borrows her best friend’s identity to infiltrate the mystery woman’s workplace and discover who she is.

Obsessively trailing the events that led to the accident, she tells friends that Greg may have been murdered, sparking concern for her emotional state.

Sally Head Productions will begin filming the 3 x 60-minute drama on location in Manchester and London in spring next year.

Head is the executive producer, and said: “This is a script full of heart that will make you laugh and cry - a memorable and modern tale of enduring love.”

Also working on the series are Tim Fywell (The Turn Of The Screw, Waking The Dead) as the director and Nigel Marchant (Downton Abbey) as the producer.

What To Do When Someone Dies was ordered by controller of drama commissioning Sally Haynes, and director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie, who said it would explore “grief, spiralling obsession, conspiracy and murder”.

“It has been brilliantly adapted from Nicci French’s novel by acclaimed theatre writer Charlotte Jones,” she said.

Head executive produced and won Emmy Awards for a number of Prime Suspect instalments, she also executive produced BBC2’s Tipping The Velvet.

Friel last appeared on British TV in an episode of the final run of BBC1’s The Street last year, and also starred in two series of ITV1 acquisition Pushing Daisies.