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"Beautifully written, this political spy thriller from Russia is an exciting, penetrating, absolute whammy of a read."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Falling with exquisite yet hammer-hard precision this beautifully written political spy thriller from a Russian author feels like a unique read. When the Soviet Union collapses a chemist who developed an untraceable lethal poison defects. After a murder occurs using the poison, two men are sent to silence Professor Kalitin. An intriguing start sets this novel up and the plot continues to bubble and scheme away. I almost felt as though I should be swearing an official secrets act in order to read Untraceable. Sergei Lebedev has created the most fascinating and readable novel. His words echoed though me, huge in scope yet intimate in detail and emotion. The translation by Antonina W Bouis is fabulous, sometimes translated novels make you feel at home, this quite rightly ensured that I realised just how much I don’t know. At times I was left reeling, desperate to read more, to understand more and the ending hit with a shockwave. Deservedly a LoveReading Star Book Untraceable is a beautiful, disturbing and penetrating read. 

The LoveReading LitFest invited Sergei to the festival to talk about Untraceable.

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Liz Robinson

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Primary Genre Espionage and Spy Thriller
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Reader Reviews

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This book is small but perfectly formed. What it manages to convey between the covers through its intense detail and language is quite inspiring. The history, the characters and the atmosphere are haunting.

This book is small but perfectly formed. What it manages to convey between the covers through its intense detail and use of language is quite inspiring. The history, the characters and the atmosphere are haunting. This book needs to be read slowly to enable you to appreciate the use of language and the detail in the story. The characters are all quite complex and believable, but at its heart is a really good and compelling story.... Read Full Review

Lynne Packer

An exciting and gripping novel and fascinating to experience it from the perspective of the ‘other’ side.

This is a book about a number of characters who have taken the wrong path. One could have been using his technical abilities to help humanity and to save life but the medical emblems on his coat are a deceit. Instead, he and his colleagues chose to destroy and to practice the art of concealed death.

It covers a highly relevant subject given the high-profile Russian poisonings of dissidents and defectors over recent years but from the perspective of someone involved and complicit in the practice of assassination.

Very cleverly, the author draws us into some aspects of the psyche of the perpetrators introducing an insight into their perspective on life which if not sympathetic, enables us to experience their anxieties and frustrations as the story unfolds. These are not mindless automatons dedicated to some post-Soviet cause.... Read Full Review

Seeta Ojah Maharaj

An uncomfortable but worthwhile read that needs your full attention.

You have to be in the mood to read some novels and Untraceable is certainly one of them. In these difficult times this novel about poisons and assassinations was a little hard to get to grips with but once I got into it, it began to move along.

And I’m glad I persevered. It’s very well researched and translated and although I found it challenging, the idea of an untraceable poison and the scientists obsession about not stopping until he had succeeded in creating it is well executed. Of course, there is the other side of the coin too. When things go wrong the state needs to find and destroy the source and so Untraceable follow the men who have to find the scientist who has defected.

Would I recommend it? Yes, with a caveat to keep going.... Read Full Review

Heather Byrne