After sipping tea in a London hotel, former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, fell ill and was rushed to the hospital. Within days he was dead, poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope slipped into his drink, but not before issuing a dramatic deathbed statement accusing Russian president Vladimir Putin himself of engineering his murder. Alan Cowell, then the London bureau chief of the New York Times, covered the story from its inception. Here he gives us the definitive story of this assassination, and explores the profound international implications of this first act of nuclear terrorism.
"Doggedly reported and dramatically written.... Cowell tells the story with literary panache but doesn't let his stylish prose eclipse the substance of a sordid tale. The sections about espionage and the assassination are worthy of Tom Clancy, but the author's political analysis is equally riveting.... A well-told true-crime tale mixed with expert political/historical analysis."—Kirkus Reviews