*RC provided by Netgalley*
Author: Alan Williams
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
The world waits in suspense to know: are the Beria Papers fact or fiction?
These are the facts:
Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria was head of the Soviet secret police from 1938 until 1953 (when he was executed).
He was Stalin’s closest henchman.
At one time he had a million armed men under his direct personal command. He was a sadist and a mass murderer. And he was also a vicious rapist with a compulsive appetite for young girls.
This is possible:
Beria may have kept a private diary in which he lovingly recorded his sexual activities, his murders, various scandals involving men now highly placed in the Soviet hierarchy — and the true facts of Stalin’s death.
This is certain:
The publication of Beria’s diary would cause the greatest political scandal the world has ever known — and set off a deadly manhunt for those responsible for its release…
The private diaries of Beria — Stalin’s notorious chief of secret police — are a lurid, shattering indictment of Russian political methods and contain a new account of what really happened at Stalin’s death.
They confirm Beria as one of the greatest human monsters of our time, both in his personal life and in his political manipulations of top Soviet politicians, some of whom are in power today.
The Beria Papers are sold to an American publisher for three million dollars. On publication they are an immediate, sensational bestseller.
They cause panic in Moscow and outrage everywhere — even in the upper echelons of the U.S. government, where there is fear that such revelations will create a dangerous precedent in smear campaigns against world leaders.
So the world’s two most powerful secret services — the Soviet KGB and the American CIA — are ordered to track down the book’s origin.
Their investigations range from New York to Washington, to London, Moscow, Munich, Budapest, Vienna and finally to a small island in the Indian Ocean where the activities of the two secret agencies come horrifically together.
But can The Beria Papers, possibly be a hoax?
Both exciting and really convincing
– Sunday Times –
I stumbled upon The Beria Papers while browsing through Netgalley and to say I was intrigued by this piece of history (which I did not know about), is putting it mildly. So I obviously requested a copy and started reading as soon as I had it on my Kindle.
‘Both exciting and really convincing … fascinating. Part adventure, part thriller, part a documentary of might-have-been history, The Beria Papers is the best thing of its kind for a long time.’
– Sunday Times –
Let me set off this brief and probably unhelpful review by telling you that, while I was interested in it as soon as I read the synopsis, The Beria Papers proved to be something out of my comfort-zone.
I’ve read quite a few mysteries, I enjoy thrillers immensly, but this was a somewhat heavy novel in both subject and style and, honestly, it took quite a toll on me.
Yet, it was so scarily compelling and realistic, especially the fake diary entries, I couldn’t put it down.
Do not go into this believing it to be an easy read: it is a difficult book to read, but the key word, certainly, is intriguing.
‘Intriguing and gripping … not merely compulsively exciting entertainment, it is also so well researched and the background appears so absolutely authentic that the whole fantastic story could just be true.’
– Sunday Express –