On to another deadly presence in the global midst, and another timely book for our parlous times: Catherine Belton’s Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Turned on the West (William Collins). It is a truly remarkable book, and the plaudits have been coming in hard and fast.

It’s something of a cliché to describe an explosive work of nonfiction as reading like a thriller, but that’s exactly what this is.

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