Head of Zeus has acquired a "fast-paced thriller", Traitor's Gate by crime writer Michael Ridpath, about a plot to kill Hitler as Europe stands on brink of war.

Publisher Nic Cheetham bought world English rights from Oliver Munson at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency.

Cheetham said: "Michael Ridpath has crafted a nerve-shredding, intelligent thriller around a moment in history we thought we knew. This is the story of a secret conflict ignited on the eve of World War Two, waged throughout it and denied after it. Historical fiction may be a new direction for Michael, for this debut is nothing less than a masterclass."

Head of Zeus will publish in hardback as a lead title in spring 2013.