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Black Sun


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Inspired by history, this compelling and chillingly-authentic thriller brings Soviet-era Russia and the paranoia of the Cold War to brilliant life - should rank alongside Martin Cruz-Smith's Gorky Park and Robert Harris' Archangel.

About the Author

OWEN MATTHEWS worked as a war correspondent in Bosnia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and Ukraine and was Newsweek magazine's bureau chief in Moscow from 2006 until 2016. He has written several works of non-fiction including the critically-acclaimed Stalin's Children and An Impeccable Spy. Black Sun is his first novel. He lives in Moscow and Oxford.


"A stunning debut thriller . . . ferocious, authentic and utterly terrifying . . . absolutely riveting." * DAILY MAIL *
"There are some authors who have gone out into the world to observe the good, the bad and the ugly. Owen Matthews is such a novelist. Black Sun is fascinating and has fearsome authenticity." -- FREDERICK FORSYTH
"An outstanding first novel . . . Matthews writes superbly." * SUNDAY TIMES 'Crime Book of the Month' *
"One of the best thrillers of recent years . . . a glorious book, a tour-de-force. It drips with authenticity from every page . . . a page-turning, thumping good read." -- DAVID YOUNG, bestselling author of Stasi Child
"[A] stunning debut . . . his marriage of fact and fiction is masterly." -- Antonia Senior * THE TIMES 'Historical Fiction Book of the Month *
"A stunning debut. Matthews writes enviably well and knows Soviet Russia inside-out. Fantastic." -- CHARLES CUMMING
"Enthralling . . . Black Sun propels Matthews straight into the first division of thriller writers." -- Adam LeBor * FINANCIAL TIMES *
"This thrilling and suspenseful and original thriller of murder and power is a compelling voyage into the darkest secret city of the soviet nuclear project by an expert on all of Russian life." -- SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE
"A superbly crafted thriller . . . Matthews, who really knows the Soviet world, evokes it with absolute authenticity . . . beautifully drawn." -- A. N. Wilson * THE TABLET *
"Brilliantly plotted and all the more satisfying because it is based on a true story . . . Something else, too: you get it that the Soviet Union in the sixties was a mess with all the wrong people holding the levers of power. And yet, inside the machine, there were humans too: sometimes noble, often seriously brilliant. Reading Black Sun is like stepping into a time machine and setting the dial for Soviet Russia, 1961." -- JOHN SWEENEY
"A rattlingly good yarn . . . Matthews has the uncanny ability to transport the reader back in time to the Soviet Union of 1961 . . . a debut novel which deserves a wide readership." -- Trevor Royle * THE HERALD *
"A thoroughly dark and disturbing thriller." -- Jon Wise * SPORT *
"Atmospheric . . . his evocation of the landscape and times is sharp, and the insights into the horrors of the Communist past chastening . . . a powerful and gripping piece of writing." -- Maxim Jakubowski * CRIME TIME *
"'[Matthews] impressive first novel . . . the murder investigation is clever, the science neatly explained . . . and the descriptions . . . are revealing." * LITERARY REVIEW *

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