This book was highly recommended by a friend.
Because of that I think my expectations were quiet high. Unfortunately, the book fell a bit short of it.
It is an interesting narrative and takes place in an era rarely represented in English literature. Stalinist Russia was a secretive, disturbing and puzzling period.
Smith does a good job presenting it to a reader, especially considering he is not a native Russian. However, as a native Russian, I am possibly a bit more sensitive and biased when the author attempts to be authentic in his Russian language and narrative. Thus, few things bothered me. Some of the Russian words are not used appropriately and some Russian terms are not accurate.
The story is interesting, but the plot is a bit easy and by the middle of the book, I was pretty certain on how it will end.
Never the less, I gave it 3 stars as it is a good book to read and an engaging story to follow.
I will read the next one as it did intrigue me enough to want to know what happens next.