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Black Sun

Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

1961. Hidden deep within the forests of central Soviet Russia is a place that doesn’t appear on any map: a city called Arzamas-16. Here a community of dedicated scientists, technicians and engineers are building the most powerful nuclear device the world will ever see - 3,000 times more powerful than Hiroshima. 

But 10 days before the bomb is to be tested, a young physicist is found dead. His body contains enough radioactive poison to kill thousands. The Arzamas authorities believe it is suicide - they want the corpse disposed of and the incident forgotten. But someone in Moscow is alarmed by what’s going on in this strange, isolated place. 

And so Major Alexander Vasin - a mostly good KGB officer - is dispatched to Arzamas to investigate. What he finds there is unlike anything he’s experienced before. His wits will be tested against some of the most brilliant minds in the Soviet Union - eccentrics, patriots and dissidents who, because their work is considered to be of such vital national importance, have been granted the freedom to think and act, live and love as they wish. In Arzamas, nothing can be allowed to get in the way of the project. Not even murder....

Intricately researched, cunningly plotted and brilliantly told, Black Sun is a fast-paced and timely thriller set at the height - and in the heart - of Soviet power.

©2019 Owen Matthews (P)2019 Penguin Audio

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  • phphoto
  • 12-27-19

Brilliant

Amazing story and so well told and utterly compelling. I can't recommend this book enough.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 12-09-19

An interesting novel

I knew very little about this era in Russian history and found this a well written and enthralling novel based closely on fact.
However, I have a few major issues with this production. I very nearly gave up after the first 20 minutes as the narration was so appallingly slow. I discovered that if I played the audiobook at 1.25 speed it sounded absolutely fine! Secondly, I’m not sure why all the characters are all given Russian accents. As they are all Russian there doesn’t seem to be any need to differentiate. Also, but less importantly,I’m also not sure why the narrator is an American when the author is English. My final comment would be that having been carried along very well by the characters and the plot the book did seem to labour over the final hour and I think some judicious editing would not have gone amiss.

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  • Hamish
  • 11-18-19

Excellent tale with threads of fact

Excellent tale with threads of historical fact that are surprising and horrific. Narration is also excellent.