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Archangel by Robert Harris
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Archangel (1998)

by Robert Harris, Hans Kooijman

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1,890326,288 (3.52)46
Present-day Russia is the setting for this stunning new novel from Robert Harris, author of the bestsellers Fatherland and Enigma.          Archangel tells the story of four days in the life of Fluke Kelso, a dissipated, middle-aged former Oxford historian, who is in Moscow to attend a conference on the newly opened Soviet archives.          One night, Kelso is visited in his hotel room by an old NKVD officer, a former bodyguard of the secret police chief Lavrenty Beria. The old man claims to have been at Stalin's dacha on the night Stalin had his fatal stroke, and to have helped Beria steal the dictator's private papers, among them a notebook.          Kelso decides to use his last morning in Moscow to check out the old man's story. But what starts as an idle inquiry in the Lenin Library soon turns into a murderous chase across nighttime Moscow and up to northern Russia--to the vast forests near the White Sea port of Archangel, where the final secret of Josef Stalin has been hidden for almost half a century.          Archangel combines the imaginative sweep and dark suspense of Fatherland with the meticulous historical detail of Enigma. The result is Robert Harris's most compelling novel yet. From the Paperback edition.… (more)
Member:jankaldenbach
Title:Archangel
Authors:Robert Harris
Other authors:Hans Kooijman
Info:Amsterdam : De Boekerij; 350 p, 22 cm; http://opc4.kb.nl/DB=1/PPN?PPN=18221270X
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:None

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Archangel by Robert Harris (1998)

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» See also 46 mentions

English (29)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Watched the 2005 BBC production with Daniel Craig (Aug 31, 2017). Not so good, but certainly watchable. But, I'm reading Tom Rob Smith's "The Secret Speech" so, evocative. Riga for the town of Archangel certainly puts me in the mood.
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
A quest to find Stalin's notebook in the 1990s turns into something much more. Historian Christopher 'Fluke' Kelso wants the notebook to revive his academic career. Kelso isn't the only one who wants the notebook. US journalist RJ O'Brian knows a good story when he sees one. He joins Kelso. Hot on their trial is politician and ex-KGB agent Vladimir Mamantov.

This is the third novel I've read by Robert Harris and it's every bit as good as the others. The novel is intense, the historical detail laudable and the plot gripping. Although the characters aren't as deeply developed as they could've been, the novel's strengths make up for it. ( )
  Neil_333 | Mar 6, 2020 |
Strange plot–is Stalin returning?—strange setting, but fun and readable.

> estimates that some sixty-six million people were killed in the USSR between 1917 and 1953 – shot, tortured, starved mostly, frozen or worked to death. Others say the true figure is a mere forty-five million. Who knows? Neither estimate, by the way, includes the thirty million now known to have been killed in the Second World War. To put this loss in context: the Russian Federation today has a population of roughly 150 million. ( )
  breic | Dec 27, 2019 |
Another excellent book by Robert Harris, taking a slice of our historical past and twisting it into a scary possibility ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
From Amazon:

Archangel tells the story of four days in the life of Fluke Kelso, a dissipated, middle-aged former Oxford historian, who is in Moscow to attend a conference on the newly opened Soviet archives. One night, Kelso is visited in his hotel room by an old NKVD officer, a former bodyguard of the secret police chief Lavrenty Beria. The old man claims to have been at Stalin's dacha on the night Stalin had his fatal stroke, and to have helped Beria steal the dictator's private papers, among them a notebook. Kelso decides to use his last morning in Moscow to check out the old man's story. But what starts as an idle inquiry in the Lenin Library soon turns into a murderous chase across nighttime Moscow and up to northern Russia--to the vast forests near the White Sea port of Archangel, where the final secret of Josef Stalin has been hidden for almost half a century.

My Thoughts:

This was my "Blind Date" book for the Mystery and Suspense Plus group and I can say that we had a wonderful time. The book was intriguing, exciting and frightening in so many ways. In no other way could the terror, fanaticism and cunning of Stalin have been brought forward more forcefully. Nowhere else could you experience the sheer terror that Stalin commanded over his people. The skill with which Robert Harris displays this feeling is immense. Every turn produces a new revelation. Each chapter presents a further twist in the plot. Then the end is revealed in stunning power, excitement and suspense. This is a fantastic book that is made even more frightening with the knowledge that Stalin could very well have done this. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Late one night a long time ago - before you were even born, boy - a bodyguard stood on the the verandah at the back of a big house in Moscow, smoking a cigarette.
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Present-day Russia is the setting for this stunning new novel from Robert Harris, author of the bestsellers Fatherland and Enigma.          Archangel tells the story of four days in the life of Fluke Kelso, a dissipated, middle-aged former Oxford historian, who is in Moscow to attend a conference on the newly opened Soviet archives.          One night, Kelso is visited in his hotel room by an old NKVD officer, a former bodyguard of the secret police chief Lavrenty Beria. The old man claims to have been at Stalin's dacha on the night Stalin had his fatal stroke, and to have helped Beria steal the dictator's private papers, among them a notebook.          Kelso decides to use his last morning in Moscow to check out the old man's story. But what starts as an idle inquiry in the Lenin Library soon turns into a murderous chase across nighttime Moscow and up to northern Russia--to the vast forests near the White Sea port of Archangel, where the final secret of Josef Stalin has been hidden for almost half a century.          Archangel combines the imaginative sweep and dark suspense of Fatherland with the meticulous historical detail of Enigma. The result is Robert Harris's most compelling novel yet. From the Paperback edition.

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