Welbeck Publishing Group has signed a three-book deal with debut historical writer Ben Creed.
Jon Elek, fiction publisher, acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to City of Ghosts and two sequels from Giles Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. Welbeck will publish in October 2020.
City of Ghosts is set in the Soviet Union in the final years of Stalin’s regime and follows senior lieutenant Revol Rossel as he investigates the discovery of five mutilated corpses neatly laid out on a railway track outside Leningrad. Rossel sets about piecing together fragments and clues from the murders, following a trail that leads to the heart of the Soviet establishment.
Creed commented: "I have always been fascinated by Russian and Soviet history, and I’m magnetically drawn to the human stories that show how people navigated the perils, terrors and absurdities of life under Stalin. I am thrilled to be in a long-term partnership with such a dynamic publisher who shares my enthusiasm for this fascinating world."
Elek added: "By any measure this is an extraordinary novel, equal parts thriller, social history and compelling personal drama. The historical detail is brilliantly captured and the murder investigation is a powerful engine, but fundamentally this is character-driven crime at its best."
Ben Creed is the pseudonym of Chris Rickaby and Barney Thompson, who met on the Curtis Brown creative writing course.