So many excellent reviews, I have little to add except...how do these English writers do it? Mr Smith writes like he was there in Moscow in the '50s (Lee Child, another English author, writes as if he grew up in the American South and served in the US Army). The first 200 pages were absolutely brilliant, a chilling picture of the USSR at the height of the "perfect socialist society". The rest of the story becomes a bit unrealistic as Leo and his wife are first banished to a small village and later to the gulag. Still, the action was always exciting and I couldn't put it down. Hope to read more of this author.