The first reports seemed absurd, almost surreal. A Russian dissident, formerly an employee of the KGB and its successor, the FSB, had seemingly been poisoned in a London sushi bar. As Alexander Litvinenko's condition worsened, however, and he was transferred to hospital and placed under armed guard, the story took a sinister turn. On 23 November 2006, Litvinenko died, apparently from polonium-210 radiation poisoning. He himself, in a dramatic statement from his deathbed, accused his former employers at the Kremlin of being responsible for his murder. Who was Alexander Litvinenko? What had happened in Russia since the end of the Cold War to make his life there untenable, and even in severe jeopardy in Britain, the country that had granted him asylum? And how did he really die? The hall of mirrors that this extraordinary case opens up threatens to overwhelm rational explanation. But in his spokesman and close friend, Alex Goldfarb, and widow Marina, we have two people who know more than anyone about the real Sasha Litvinenko, and about his murder. Their riveting book sheds astonishing light not just on these strange and troubling events but also on the biggest crisis in relations with Russia since the fall of the Berlin Wall.