• "‘Devastating... Often thrilling and always freighted with dread… Admirably artful’"

    Simon Ings, Daily Telegraph
  • "Fascinating… a subtle mixture of biography, memoir, political analysis and detective story… A powerful and important book"

    Victor Sebestyen, Mail on Sunday
  • "Rolin’s writing is haunting, poetic"

    Washington Post
  • "Rolin proves to be a comforting and companionable guide to a gruesome period of history. Although the past he takes us through is irredeemably bloodthirsty, he confidently leads us back to the present, a seeker of light in a world of uncompromising bleakness"

    LA Times
  • "Rolin's tone is lyrical and impressionistic rather than scholarly. He intersperses his own thoughts on Russian history, geography and culture… The overall effect is moving… Rolin's reconstruction of the meteorologist's last hours is masterful… The contribution of Rolin, with his English translator Ros Schwartz, is to bring this story to the non-Russian-speaking world and situate it as part of a broader meditation on the history of the Soviet tragedy. In that he has succeeded, producing an eloquent addition to a violent episode in the history of science in the twentieth century"

    Asif Siddiqi, Nature