Those of you who adore chilling suspense, tense historical backdrops and (almost) unsolvable mysteries will most definitely want a copy of Ben Creed‘s debut, City of Ghosts (Welbeck Publishing/ Portland Press), which is out today.

The book was snapped up by Welbeck in a three-book deal; at the time, fiction publisher Jon Elek called it “character-driven crime at its best“. City of Ghosts is the first in a trilogy, and transports its readers to bleak post-war Russia, through the eyes of a police officer attempting to crack the case of five anonymous corpses.

Leningrad, Russia, 1951.

The shadow of war lingers. Revol Rossel – once a virtuoso violinist with a glittering future – is now a humble state militia cop, forced to investigate desperate crimes in this desperate era.

But when five frozen corpses are found neatly arranged between railway lines, Rossel is faced with the most puzzling – and most dangerous – case of his career. His hunt for the truth leads him to the dark heart of Leningrad’s musical establishment, and, ultimately, to the highest levels of the Kremlin itself.

It’s a world he knows intimately. A world where his dreams were shattered.

A world where a killer may now be hiding…

To mark the occasion, Chris and Barney (the authors behind the ‘Ben Creed’ pseudonym) will be interviewed on radio stations across the country today, so be sure to listen out for them.  Their book has already been a hit with the press, who have been drawing phenomenal comparisons. The Financial Times deemed the protagonist “a worthy successor to Cruz Smith’s Arckady Renko” in their round-up of the ‘best new spy thrillers‘, and it has been selected as a thriller of the month in The Times, as well as a ‘Star Pick’ in their September  ‘Crime Club’  newsletter. Bestselling author James Patterson also gave the book a stellar review, calling it both “tense” and “complex”:

“Reminded me of Gorky Park, only I liked this tense, complex thriller even better” James Patterson, bestselling author

“An impressive debut historical thriller.” Times Crime Club ‘Star Pick’

“The writing is smooth and fluent, the visuals evocative and the pacing rises and falls in good time. Rossel is a worthy successor to Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko… a fine and often moving thriller.” Financial Times

“An intricate, addictive, mesmerising and gripping read. Ben Creed has created an incredible piece of historical fiction against such an atmospheric backdrop.” Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

Ben Creed is the pseudonym for Chris Rickaby and Barney Thompson. Chris, from Newcastle upon Tyne, found his way into advertising as a copywriter and, after working for various agencies, started his own called Everything Different. Barney is a classically trained musician who studied under the legendary conducting professor Ilya Musin at the St Petersburg Conservatory for two years. He is fluent in Russian and is now an editor.

We’re incredibly proud of the duo behind Ben Creed for penning such a clever, seamless debut work, and are certain that readers will love it as much as critics have.