The untold story of how Russia refined the art and science of targeted assassination abroad -- while Western spies watched in horror as their governments failed to guard against the threat
They thought they had found a safe haven in the green hills of England. They were wrong. One by one, the Russian oligarchs, dissidents, and gangsters who fled to Britain after Vladimir Putin came to power dropped dead in strange or suspicious circumstances. One by one, their British lawyers and fixers met similarly grisly ends. Yet, one by one, the British authorities shut down every investigation-and carried on courting the Kremlin.
The spies in the riverside headquarters of MI6 looked on with horror as the scope of the Kremlin's global killing campaign became all too clear. And, across the Atlantic, American intelligence officials watched with mounting alarm as the bodies piled up, concerned that the tide of death could spread to the United States. Those fears intensified when a one-time Kremlin henchman was found bludgeoned to death in a Washington, D.C. penthouse. But it wasn't until Putin's assassins unleashed a deadly chemical weapon on the streets of Britain, endangering hundreds of members of the public in a failed attempt to slay the double agent Sergei Skripal, that Western governments were finally forced to admit that the killing had spun out of control.
Unflinchingly documenting the growing web of death on British and American soil, Heidi Blake bravely exposes the Kremlin's assassination campaign as part of Putin's ruthless pursuit of global dominance-and reveals why Western governments have failed to stop the bloodshed. The unforgettable story that emerges whisks us from London's high-end night clubs to Miami's million-dollar hideouts, ultimately rendering a bone-chilling portrait of money, betrayal, and murder, written with the pace and propulsive power of a thriller.
Based on a vast trove of unpublished documents, bags of discarded police evidence, and interviews with hundreds of insiders, this heart-stopping international investigation uncovers one of the most important- and terrifying-geopolitical stories of our time.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has enjoyed the British government's "quiet complicity" in a "covert killing campaign" against his exiled enemies and their associates, according to this sensationalistic account by BuzzFeed News editor Blake (The Ugly Game). At the center of her tale are Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky and his Scottish "bagman," Scot Young. Berezovsky, who sought political asylum in England after helping to bring Putin to power, was found hanged in March 2013. Less than two years later, Young's body was discovered impaled on a fence beneath his London apartment. Investigators ruled out foul play in both cases, but Blake suggests that the two men were killed in retaliation for their involvement in a Moscow real estate deal. Citing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources, she identifies 12 other "suspicious" deaths from the past 15 years, alleging that authorities prematurely closed these cases in order to keep Russian money flowing into the U.K. Though Blake claims to have gathered "hundreds of boxes of documents" and a "huge cache of digital files," she doesn't cite any specific evidence to explain how these alleged assassinations were carried out. Readers will have to set their skepticism aside in order to enjoy this cinematic ride.