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June 20, 2018


A Very Expensive Poison

by N@ncy


Finished: 20.06.2018
Genre: non-fiction (true crime)
Rating: B



This book reads like a Le Carré espionage thriller!
Major theme is the death of Alex Litvineko 2006
and the final results of murder inquiry in London 2016.
Many names of Russian dissidents, double spies and ousted Russian oligarchs are mentioned. Victims were killed in drab suburbia (Alexander Litvinenko), often out in the open, on pavements (Boris Nemtsov), sometimes as the target was out walking their dog, or going shopping, with passers-by watching on in abject horror. (Sergei Skripal)
There seems to be a trend

…but who is the one giving the orders to kill?


Alexander Litvinenko – British naturalised Russian defector and former officer of the Russian FSB secret service who specialised in tackling organised crime in Russia.
(dead 2006, poisoning with radionuclide polonium-210)


“Badri” Patarkatsishvili – behind some of the most successful companies in today’s Russia (oligarch)
(dead 2008, collapse at his home, compounds known to be used by the former KGB can induce heart failure, but leave virtually no trace)


Boris Berezovsky – oligarch, agitator in Russian politics. He and Putin were sworn enemies.
(dead 2013, found in bathroom – death as “unexplained”)


Boris Nemtsov – outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and his authoritarian, undemocratic regime.
(dead 2015, assassinated on a bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow, with four shots fired from the back.


Sergei Skripal – former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services
(March 2018, poisoned with a nerve agent…survived)




4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 20 2018

    I recently read a spy novel set mostly in Russia where a lot of Russian agents were eliminated by their own bosses. I wondered how realistic that was.


    • Jun 21 2018

      It is a thin line between fiction and reality in Russia since 2000 ….Putin is ‘elected’ president!



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