The Skripal Files

Mark Urban

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19 September 2019
9781529006926
352 pages
Synopsis

'A scrupulous piece of reporting, necessary, timely and very sobering' John Le Carré

A Sunday Times Best Book of 2018

Agent. Prisoner. Target.
Who is Sergei Skripal?

4 March 2018, Salisbury, England. A man and his daughter are found slumped on a bench, poisoned by the deadly nerve agent Novichok. He was a Russian national that became a MI6 spy.

Russia are publicly accused of carrying out the attack by the British government, sparking a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West.

Then two innocent people find a discarded perfume bottle used in the attack and one of them, Dawn Sturgess, tragically dies. It is now a murder investigation. How exactly did we get here?

In The Skripal Files Mark Urban explains the most shocking espionage incident in a decade. Based on interviews with Sergei before his poisoning, Urban describes precisely how an otherwise loyal Russian intelligence officer was turned into an agent by MI6, how Skripal was betrayed so that he found himself in a Siberian prison, and why, years later, was he was targeted for assassination.

Fascinating account of the poisoning case . . . Other books will follow on the Skripals, but they will struggle to match the texture of Urban’s research, its knowledgeable hinterland

The Times

A scrupulous piece of reporting, necessary, timely and very sobering

John Le Carré

Engrossing . . . Urban tells the story of Skripal’s undercover career well, much of it previously unknown and gleaned from around 10 hours of conversations with him at his Salisbury home

Luke Harding, Guardian