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The Litvinenko File [Hardcover]

Martin Sixsmith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2007

On December 7th 2006, in a Highgate Cemetery drenched with London rain, a Russian was buried within a stone’s throw of the grave of Karl Marx. He was Alexander Litvinenko, Sasha to his friends, a boy from the deep Russian provinces who rose through the ranks of the world’s most feared security service. Litvinenko was the man who denounced murder and corruption in the Russian government, fled from the wrath of the Kremlin, came to London and took the shilling of Moscow’s avowed enemy … Now he was a martyr, condemned by foes unknown to an agonised death in a hospital bed thousands of miles from home.

Martin Sixsmith draws on his long experience as the BBC’s Moscow correspondent, and contact with the key London-based Russians, to dissect Alexander Litvinenko’s murder. Myriad theories have been put forward since he died, but the story goes back to 2000 when hostilities were declared between the Kremlin and its political opponents. This is a war that has blown hot and cold for over six years; a war that has pitted some of Russia’s strongest, richest men against the most powerful president Russia has had since Josef Stalin.

The Litvinenko File is a gripping, powerful inside account of a shocking act of murder, when Russia’s war with itself spilled over onto the streets of London and made the world take notice.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 4 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First Edition, First Impression edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230531547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230531543
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A gripping, powerful inside account of a shocking act of murder.' -- Yorkshire Evening Post

'Sixmith was the BBC's correspondent in Moscow, knows many of the Russians...His forensic manner is like a Panorama programme.' -- The Times

`Comprehensive and gripping dissection of a deadly true life thriller.' -- Huddersfield Daily Examiner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Sixsmith was born in Cheshire and educated at Oxford, Harvard and the Sorbonne. From 1980 to 1997 he worked for the BBC, as the Corporation’s correspondent in Moscow, Washington, Brussels and Warsaw. From 1997 to 2002 he worked for the British Government as Director of Communications. He is now a writer, presenter and journalist. His previous books are Moscow Coup: The Death of the Soviet System and two novels, Spin and I Heard Lenin Laugh.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read 18 July 2007
By Lizzy
This book handles about a true story, the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. As an experienced BBC's Moscow correspondent, Martin Sixsmith tells his finding about the events leading to Litvinenko's murder. As with any true story that handles about the powers on the highest levels one will probably never fully uncover the complete truth. Nevertheless does Martin Sixsmith depicts an exciting and coherent story about the forces at play and the benefits to gain from Litvinenko's murder. He lays down in an orderly structured manner the findings of the different governmental bodies and often adds proper field research findings to it. He manages to paint a clear picture of the information which newspapers have randomly thrown at the public during the course of the event. As a sideline observer I have a feeling the author tried his utmost to stay unbiased (if there exists such thing) and viewed the events from different perspectives. From a BBC correspondent one would expect a newspaper, documentary or scholarly style story but it is not. I was pleasantly surprised with the unsophisticated language Sixsmith used and the read through was as easy as any good novel. His conclusions at the end may feel a bit disappointing but then again he may have left out harsh accusation to protect himself. Overall it is an exciting grasping book, well written and reading time well spent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great insight to Russia's underworld 24 Nov 2008
I was unable to put this book down as it reads like a real-life thriller. Gripping and informative stuff. Sixmith also give first-hand research into the Russian government's dark secrets.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written. 11 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Martin Sixsmith has written this book based on a deep understanding of Russia, its politics and its people. It is frightening when you realise that modern day Russia is a leopard that has not changed its spots, and one wonders where it is going in the near future. The book fows well and I was riveted by the convoluted trail leading to Litvinenko's murder.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No conclusion 2 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book which really left lots of questions unanswered. Author did a great job at trying to uncover the murderer but he was obstructed by authority. Very good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Litvinenko File 22 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A decent book that follows the investigation quite closely and well researched. Interesting read but quite a sobering read in this era of espionage.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly written 10 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable and detailed book - expertly written. Accurate in every detail but with far more background than just a report of events. A most enjoyable read.
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