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From Russia with Blood

Putin’s Ruthless Killing Campaign and Secret War on the West
Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Orwell Prize-nominated journalist Heidi Blake uncovers exclusive details of Vladimir Putin’s worldwide meddling with dissident voices. This is the explosive and true story of how Russia operates in our cities, right under the noses of the most powerful nations in the world, and why even they can’t stop him.

Russia’s resurgent encroachment into the West is the defining geopolitical story of our time - and a topic of insatiable public fascination. Putin’s use of targeted killing is designed to crush opponents, frighten critics into silence, exterminate traitors and wipe out the Western financial facilitators who make flight from Russia possible. In one sense this is nothing new: the Russian president is the consummate FSB man and an heir to Soviet-era autocrats who used the country’s feared security service to eliminate all opposition. But the growing pattern of brazen assassinations outside Russia’s borders is a mark of an emboldened state with burgeoning global ambitions.

Set in the heart of our cities, From Russia With Blood will analyse the geopolitical consequences of this strategy and the dangers of the West’s flat-footed response. Drawing on the expertise of Russian experts, intelligence insiders, academics and government sources in the US and Europe, Heidi Blake will uncover what has been kept from the public up until now. This audiobook is based on hundreds of thousands of documents, crime scene evidence, computers and mobile phones, surveillance footage, high-level intelligence briefings from serving officials and hundreds of insider interviews - but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Supported by a vibrant cast of characters and a fast-paced narrative, this story will draw on original reporting to tell the full story of how Russia refined the art and science of assassination as a form of statecraft. But it will also offer insights into its formidable cyber powers, sprawling international propaganda machine and fearsome security, espionage and organised crime complex to create a frighteningly effective strategy for growing global dominance. This is an unmissable guide to how Western governments failed to guard those living on home soil against the threat, the dramatic events of the past year and their alarming significance for the future.

©2019 Heidi Blake (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Profile Image for Ben H
  • Ben H
  • 04-12-2019

Great story but bizarre narration

This is a fascinating book and very well researched, but the bizarre, sing-songy way it's narrated, with odd intonation and elongated vowels, makes it almost unlistenable. It's narrated as if it's a Harry Potter novel being read to a child, rather than non-fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sion
  • 29-11-2019

Great book let down by narrator

This book gives a really interesting and frightening look into Russia's interference with the rest of the world... but the narrator's pleasant and friendly voice doesn't match the dark and serious content at all. Maybe it's just me, her voice felt better suited for a children's adventure book...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Luke Slatford
  • 04-02-2020

Wow

The changing of accents which some mentioned was a bit weird at first however that became less noticeable as I got in to it. Excellent story though and well worth a listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nick Thompson
  • 22-01-2020

Wow

A stunning insight in to the Kremlin and its effect on the West. It such a great listen and given the issues involved a very brave and thoroughly researched piece.

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  • James Merritt
  • 14-01-2020

Good info ruined by ham narration

Really well researched with lots of critical info and insights as you would expect. Parts are overblown with needless dramatic details but that eases off as the book progresses.
The narrator's ham accents and attempts at mimicking caused me a lot of distraction and frustration. Given the serious topic this really wasn't necessary.

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  • P
  • 10-01-2020

The worst narration of a book EVER

Ye Gods!! How did the narration for this book get pass Quality control?
The topic is as expected a serious issue so is let down a bit by some of the overly dramatic writing style
But the narration, well that is something all together.I have listened to audible books for years & this is so bad, It`s dreadful.
The best I can describe is, imagine you are one of a bunch of five year old kids sat in a semi circle and some twenty something girl is doing their earnest best to keep your interest and entertain you with dramatic story telling about bogey men and baddies.
Speeding up, slowing down, pausing for effect,adding dramatic inflection, changing pitch and tone at every turn. And then the best bit............... The most awful, I mean dreadfully awful attempts at adding national accents to some of the alleged words of people featured... it`s pure comedy gold because it is so badly done, I am certain people have been prosecuted for such poor stereotypical delivery "See you Jimmy, och aye, comrade!"

Anyway rant over.. I suspect my valid comments will be binned by the review police.

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  • A. D. Buckingham
  • 31-12-2019

Lacking depth and insight

In principle the story of Putin's rise to power and his control of the oligarchs is fascinating, but the account in this book reads like a series of Wikipedia entries or a collection of newspaper stories. In other words, there's a lack of depth and originality to this book. It does not feel at all well researched and falls into lazy stereotypes too easily. The narration is also poor. Pronunciation is idiosyncratic in places and there are some bizarre errors. For example, sawn off shot gun is referred to as 'sword off short gun". In sum, unrewarding to listen to.

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  • Esther C.
  • 29-12-2019

Fantastic

Thrilling book that you can’t tear yourself away from. Have already recommended this to friends.

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  • jadw137
  • 19-12-2019

Great book badly read - buy the book

This is a very interesting book but I had to struggle through it with the performance of the reader. (I wish it had been read by Heidi Blake who has a fine voice.) The reader's voice was too light for the subject matter. Another thing which drives me mad about Audible books (which must be a policy decision) is to have the reader assign foreign accents to those quoted and to try to give character to them in non-fiction books. The reader's Russian accent was farcical as was her inability to pronounce Russian words and places consistently viz: her alternating versions of Chechnya. I think this is an occasion on which I should have bought the book.

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  • ALISON LAYTON
  • 11-12-2019

Oh wow...!

Bravely investigated, brilliantly reported. Just mind blowing and very, very scary. That man is a monster.