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Download The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder, by Alan S. Cowell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (107 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan S. Cowell Narrator: John Le Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In a page-turning narrative that reads like a thriller, an award-winning journalist exposes the troubling truth behind the world’s first act of nuclear terrorism.

On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko sipped tea in London’s Millennium Hotel. Hours later the Russian émigré and former intelligence officer, who was sharply critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin, fell ill and within days was rushed to the hospital. Fatally poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope slipped into his drink, Litvinenko issued a dramatic deathbed statement accusing Putin himself of engineering his murder. Alan S. Cowell, then London Bureau Chief of the New York Times, who covered the story from its inception, has written the definitive story of this assassination and of the profound international implications of this first act of nuclear terrorism.

Who was Alexander Litvinenko? What had happened in Russia since the end of the cold war to make his life there untenable and in severe jeopardy even in England, the country that had granted him asylum? And how did he really die? The life of Alexander Litvinenko provides a riveting narrative in its own right, culminating in an event that rang alarm bells among western governments at the ease with which radioactive materials were deployed in a major Western capital to commit a unique crime. But it also evokes a wide range of other issues: Russia's lurch to authoritarianism, the return of the KGB to the Kremlin, the perils of a new cold war driven by Russia's oil riches and Vladimir Putin's thirst for power.

Cowell provides a remarkable and detailed reconstruction both of how Litvinenko died and of the issues surrounding his murder. Drawing on exclusive reporting from Britain, Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United States, he traces in unprecedented detail the polonium trail leading from Russia's closed nuclear cities through Moscow and Hamburg to the Millenium Hotel in central London. He provides the most detailed step-by-step explanation of how and where polonium was found; how the assassins tried on several occasions to kill Litvinenko; and how they bungled a conspiracy that may have had more targets than Litvinenko himself. 

With a colorful cast that includes the tycoons, spies, and killers who surrounded Litvinenko in the roller-coaster Russia of the 1990s, as well as the émigrés who flocked to London in such numbers that the British capital earned the sobriquet “Londongrad,” this book lays out the events that allowed an accused killer to escape prosecution in a delicate diplomatic minuet that helped save face for the authorities in London and Moscow.

A masterful work of investigative reporting, The Terminal Spy offers unprecedented insight into one of the most chilling true stories of our time.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Marla Milligan | 2/5/2014

    " This is a true story of a Russian spy that was killed by poison. I had a really heard time getting through this but about half way through it started to get better. Depicted Russia as a Mafia invested Country with alot of greed, power and violence. Sad story!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shandra | 12/28/2013

    " Based upon a 2006 account of Russia's President Pudin and how a spy/traitor was killed by an old adjective of poisioning. Death by leathal does of pollum that was given to the spy/traitor in the Cold War times as a harsh death sentence. A good read if interested in actual accounts of murder. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jim | 12/16/2013

    " very interesting nonfiction story of Russian spy who was poisoned with radioactive material a few years ago in London "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tina | 12/11/2013

    " Its unbelievable to acknowledge this is real life and not some fiction story. "

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