Book Review: The Skripal Files

The Skripal Files: The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy by Mark Urban

Reviewed by Cipher Brief Expert and former Chief of Station, CIA Dan Hoffman

The Skripal Files, Henry Holt & Company, 2018

BBC Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban’s latest book is a gripping real-life spy thriller, which details the career and near death of Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergey Skripal.

Drawing on extensive interviews he conducted with Skripal before the former spy was poisoned with the soviet-manufactured nerve agent novichok, Urban illuminates Skripal’s fateful decision to commit espionage on behalf of British Intelligence (MI6).  But the Russians caught him, sentenced him to a Soviet penal colony, and then ultimately released him in a 2010 “spy swap.”

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