Head of Zeus has acquired Untraceable by Russian author Sergei Lebedev, plus three other titles.
Publisher Neil Belton acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Galina Dursthoff at the Galina Dursthoff Agency. The books will be translated by New York-based Antonina W Bouis.
Untraceable is a novel rooted in the recent history of Russia's state assassinations, especially the attempted poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. The title will be published on 4th March 2021 and will mark the first time Lebedev has been published in the UK.
Three more titles, Oblivion, The Year of the Comet and The Gooze Fritz, will be published by Head of Zeus as paperback originals in autumn 2021. The titles were previously published in the US by New Vessel Press in 2016, 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Lebedev said: "From the very first words of this novel I believed that it was destined to be published in the UK. Untraceable explores not only the recent poisonous operations of the Russian secret services, which affected England very strongly, but goes deeper, right into the literary world of Shakespeare and Shelley, right into the dramatic and dark triangle of the power, knowledge and fate, from where the human and technical monsters are born. I am happy to be with Head of Zeus and have an inspiring opportunity to present my writing to a British readership."
Belton commented: "Since the fall of the Soviet Union, very few Russian novels have had the kind of impact on readers abroad such as those of Tolstoy, Bulgakov or Chekhov. This novel could be the moment when Russian literature demands that the world take notice again."