Before political journalist Robert Harris turned to fiction and resurrected Hitler for his best selling novel Fatherland, he also wrote a hugely entertaining account of the farce surrounding the publication of the hoax Hitler diaries. Archangel, with the obvious exception of substituting Hitler for that other 20th-century ogre Josef Stalin, can be seen as something of a combination of these previous projects. The novel opens in present-day Russia where a louche Oxford academic, Christopher "Fluke" Kelso, is attending a conference on the newly available Stalin archives. Kelso quickly becomes embroiled in a quest for some of Uncle Joe's still secret papers--and also a quest to make his own academic reputation--but soon uncovers more than he bargains for. The ghosts of the old authoritarian past exert a peculiar and all too powerful tug on Yeltsin's fragile capitalist democracy and as Kelso is drawn ever nearer to the secret that lies in the remote White Sea port of Archangel so the tragedies of the past become hideously more plausible in the present. Harris is historically sound, politically astute and his acute insight into the apparatus of state repression and minds of despots is unnerving. But most of all he tells a terrific yarn and Archangel
sees him on top form. This is his best yet.--Nick Wroe
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Elegant, atmospheric . . . a tense and thoughtful thriller." --"San Francisco Chronicle"
"Literate and savvy . . . It's always a pleasure to encounter a historical thriller this subtle and detailed. . . . [ ] brims with wartime intrigue and paranoia." --"The Washington Post Book World"
"A stunning debut." --"Boston Globe"
"An elegant thriller, a thoughtful, frightening story of complicity." --"San Francisco Chronicle"
"An absorbing, expertly written novel." --"The New York Times"