From Russia with Blood: The Kremlin’s Ruthless Assassination Program and Vladimir Putin’s Secret War on the West

Mulholland. Nov. 2019. 336p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316417235. $30. POL SCI
Investigative journalist Blake (coauthor, The Ugly Game) sheds insight into former spies in Russia and England, who die mysteriously in various countries, including the United States. Blake, a London-based Global Investigative editor for BuzzFeed News, noticed these strange deaths in England, and began her own inquiries. The impetus was when former double agent Sergei Skripal came down with a mysterious illness in 2018 that nearly killed him and his daughter. Blake explains how Skripal’s poisoning from a nerve agent planted by Russian nationals was the first chemical weapons attack in Europe since World War II. The author’s brave foray into this dangerous scenario is the reason much of this information is known. She covers the entire trail, including details on how enemies of the Kremlin end up missing or dead; much insight was gained through firsthand interviews with subjects involved.
VERDICT Fans of Blake’s work, along with readers curious about spymasters across the globe and the ways in which Russia tries to infiltrate other governments, will be astonished at the level of detail provided here.

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