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Black Sun Reviews

Black Sun by Owen Matthews

Black Sun

Owen Matthews

4.60 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Bantam Press
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 3 Oct 2019
ISBN: 9781787631823

'One of the best thrillers of recent years . His wits will be tested against some of the most brilliant minds in the Soviet Union - eccentrics, patriots and dissidents who, because their work is considered to be of such vital national importance, have been granted the freedom to think and act, live and love as they wish.

  • The TimesBook of the Year
5 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
25 Oct 2019

"expertise is clear throughout... his marriage of fact and fiction is masterly"

Matthews explains in a historical note that his stunning debut is based on a true story. The dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov in the early Sixties helped to design “the most powerful weapon ever created by mankind.” Matthews was Newsweek’s bureau chief in Moscow and his expertise is clear throughout. His marriage of fact and fiction is masterly.


  • The Sunday TimesCrime Book of the Month
4 stars out of 5
Joan Smith
20 Oct 2019

"Matthews writes superbly about a closed, paranoid community"

The novel unfolds in Arzamas-16, a secret city in central Russia where the apparent suicide of a young scientist through a radiation overdose threatens the success of the test. Major Alexander Vasin, a KGB officer sent to investigate, is convinced the man was murdered, but the key witnesses display varying degrees of fear and hostility. Chief among them is Professor Yury Adamov, Sakharov’s “dark twin”, who sees Vasin’s arrival as a distraction from his vital mission. Matthews writes superbly about a closed, paranoid community where everyone is fearful of failure, the KGB and being denounced as a traitor.

5 stars out of 5
Geoffrey Wansell
17 Oct 2019

"Owen Matthews has written a stunning debut thriller... Ferocious, authentic and utterly terrifying"

A distinguished former foreign correspondent, who was a bureau chief in Moscow for six years, Owen Matthews has written a stunning debut thriller... Ferocious, authentic and utterly terrifying, the tale underlines just how close humanity has come to Armageddon in its pursuit of the ultimate weapon. Absolutely riveting.