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Book Review The Murder of Alexander Litvinenko

ARRSE Rating
3.00 star(s)
The copy i reviewed was in electronic format and is the first electronic version I have had that I think would have been better in hard copy. he electronic version doesn’t have the illustrations and in hard copy it would have been easier to flip back and confirm previous parts of the book which may have made it easier to read.

The author was an associate of Boris Berezovsky and a friend of Alexander Litvenenko. He is very passionate about the case and frustrated in its outcome. He has a wealth of knowledge about the case and this is reflected in the morass of detail in the antecedents going back in some cases decades prior to the murder, covering who attended what meeting, who was a protege of whom and detailed background on a large number of individuals who walked onto the stage and off it again without participating or being involved. In the murder as far as I could discern.
I found the book overall to be labyrinthian and rambling describing a murky world, most oof the participants of which had their own ulterior motives and few, if any could be relied upon to be absolutely truthful if not deceitful and sowing disinformation. That the author acts as a guide in this murky world is to his credit, although I think a robust editor would have added considerably to simplifying the narrative.

The book is written in two parts. The first 150 pages are the part I found confusing, unnecessarily over complicated and not following a chronological pattern. I think this could have been simplified for a reader not enmeshed in this world. The second part of the book draws heavily form the police enquiry and subsequent court proceedings and is much clearer.

Overall II found the book to be initially heavy going but latterly clear and very well set out. A useful and overall helpful analysis of the activities of those who commissioned, planned and committed this truly awful crime and the reasons why they did so.

The book can be described as a factual story of corruption, complex relationships, influence, betrayal and murder.

The murder of Alexander Litvinenko
author Boris Volodarsky
288 pages
32 illustrations
Published by Pen and Sword on 30th June 2023
Retail price £25 in hardback, currently available £17:50 from Pen and Sword

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