The Terminal Spy
A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal, and Murder
By Alan S. Cowell
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767928168, 432pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
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On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko sipped tea in London's Millennium Hotel. Hours later the Russian emigre 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.
"Absorbing." -"New York Times"
"Cowell plays out the Byzantine possibilities behind this killing with heroic clarity." -"Los Angeles Times"
"Doggedly reported and dramatically written . . . Cowell tells the story with literary panache but doesn't let his stylish prose eclipse the substance of a sordid tale. The sections about espionage and the assassination are worthy of Tom Clancy, but the author's political analysis is equally riveting . . . A well-told true-crime tale mixed with expert political/historical analysis."