On November 1, 2006, journalist and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London. He died 22 days later. The cause of death? Polonium - a rare, lethal, and highly radioactive substance. Here Luke Harding unspools a real-life political assassination story complete with KGB, CIA, MI6, and Russian mobsters. He shows how Litvinenko's murder foreshadowed the killings of other Kremlin critics, from Washington, DC, to Moscow, and how these are tied to Russia's current misadventures in Ukraine and Syria. In doing so he becomes a target himself and unearths a chain of corruption and death leading straight to Vladimir Putin. From his investigations of the downing of flight MH17 to the Panama Papers, Harding sheds a terrifying light on Russia's fracturing relationship with the West.
©2017 Luke Harding (P)2017 Random House Audio
"Harding's exposé, shortlisted for the CWA Nonfiction Dagger Award, could not be more chilling or timely.... A devastating and disturbing must-read." (Booklist)
"A chilling look at the Putin regime's murderous suppression of its critics.... In this fast-paced book, Harding, who was expelled from the Kremlin while serving as the Guardian's Moscow bureau chief, covers all the bases while exposing the weakness and accommodationism of the now-departed British leadership. Hard-hitting and timely given Russia's continued sway in international politics as well as its documented influence over an incoming American administration that is also hostile to the press." (Kirkus )
"Extraordinarily pacy...one of the best political thrillers I have come across in years." (The Evening Standard)
A Very Expensive Poison is a thrilling and eye-opening account of an historically unprecedented murder that, remarkably, British Justice has officially linked to the current Russian President. The book is an incredibly drawn, multi-angled reconstruction of the infamous crime itself, the poisoning of a political dissident, Alexander Litvinenko, in central London with the most radioactive substance known to man. Meticulously researched, the book recounts the moving personal stories of the victim and his family as well as the stories of the bottom feeding perpetrators, a cast of characters lightyears beyond the power and villainy imagined in The Godfather.
It is all there: finely drawn portraits of thugs as well as those highly placed on the world stage (and unfortunate combinations of the two). You will never forget the victim whose idealism, love of country, and inborn dignity blinds, or inures, him to the inevitably lethal consequences of dissent.A Very Expensive Poison, through its accounts of the factual actions and brutal methods of political actors whose influence over not only over Russia but also England, Europe and America is only growing, could not be more timely or informative. It is essential reading for everyone seeking deeper insights into the present darkening of world politics.
All citizens and government officials have a patriotic duty to read Harding's exposure of international criminal acts and political deceptions used to threaten, weaken and destroy democracies.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
Who can forget the iconic photo of Litvinenko, gaunt, bald, dying in his hospital bed, the victim of the most chilling kind of assassination straight out of a le Carre spy novel? It's haunting.
This expose will leave you reeling. You don't even feel the 13+ hours going by as it's such a gripping, horrifying tale of threats made real, of NEVER being able to speak your mind, to speak of anything.
It's a tale of mobsters, of comical (if they weren't so deadly) assassins, of archaic poisons and your run-of-the-mill bullets to the head. It's an account of radiation leaving near-fatal trails, of dedicated and always thwarted detectives, of courtroom dramas. It's of vindication that means absolutely nothing.
You think Putin is scary? Read/listen to this book and you'll have nightmares.
Meticulously researched by a journalist who lived in Russia and had his apartment broken into and bugged many times, this is a throat-grabbing (literally for some victims) story that is well-crafted, and superbly narrated. The evidence laid out is astounding, and when it's iffy, it's specifically stated as "circumstantial".
And it'll mean nothing, nothing to governments...
I remember seeing this scandal play out on the news. It seemed crazy then, but feels even crazier now that I know more details. The author gives you a very informative look into Litvinenko, his assassins, and how Putin's government works.
The narrator was engaging and clear. I'm very glad I listened to this!
I loved this book. I heard of it through an NPR interview of the author. I drive for a living, so audio is best for me; which leads me to the only tiny issue I had. I'm new to audio books so following a reader with a British accent was a slight challenge for me at first. I got use to it after the first 2 chapters... other than that.... it was wonderful and a very informative book and listening experience.
Unbelievable story. It is scary what is going on and how little the world seems to know or care. Good narration; he makes it feel like he is telling the story to you.
Luke Harding has written a page turner. It's a gripping story well told. The courage and integrity of Litvinenko is impressive. While dying of the polonium poisoning he cooly aids in the investigation. Harding spent years researching for this book and got to know Litvenenko very well and she also comes across as a heroic and likable character. He mentions at the end that she has no money. I hope that has been rectified since this book was written. This book makes you care about her that way. Highly recommend this book.
Written by one of the leading journalists of the British newspaper The Guardian this is a super book on Alexander Litvinenko who died on November 23, 2006 in London. The cause of death? A cup of tea, spiked with Polonium, supposedly at the behest of Putin himself.
What did Litvinenko know that would cause his death? Was Putin really involved? Luke Harding takes us on a harrowing ride through the life (and death) of Litvinenko, and the eventual inquiry that made history. Also I cannot recommend enough the book Red Notice, that is even more stunning as to how Putin treats his enemies & how is is neck deep with the Russian Mafia, so incredible you will hardly believe it. But, is all true & even caused laws to be changed in Europe to stop these government backed killers.
I learned a lot about putin that I didn't know. after reading this, I have also come to the conclusion that Russia is a mafia-state. good read!
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