Red Notice by Bill Browder

book cover

Post by Voula

Red Notice by Bill Browder

This is definitely a book I never would have contemplated reading was it not for the persistence of a customer who could not praise it enough. His constant rave about Red Notice finally appealed to my sense of curiosity and I reluctantly placed a reservation on it. When it came in for me, I was still sceptical but as it looked like an easy read, I thought I could just grin and bear through it. International finance, capitalism and Russian politics are not my usual genre unless they are somehow embedded in a drama filled fiction novel.

Red Notice is a true story written by Bill Browder about how he saw the opportunity to make a fortune in Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, when the Russian government decided to steal $230 million of taxes that his company had paid to the state, Browder endeavoured to expose the corruption and in the process endangered his own life. The Russian government issued a Red Notice which is an international arrest warrant circulated to countries listing persons who are wanted for extradition.  Thankfully, Browder just managed to escape to the UK in time but unfortunately his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky who testified against Russian officials was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered.

This shocked Browder to the core and changed his life for ever. He became a campaigner and activist in his fight for justice for Magnitsky. He succeeded in having the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act passed which was signed off by President Barack Obama. This law ensured that a number of Russian officials implicated in Magnitsky’s murder were punished. Of course the Russian government were enraged and in direct retaliation to this law, Putin enacted his own law, one that affected thousands of Russian orphans and American families, some of whom had already met each other. He enacted a law that banned Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

On reading this book I discovered what true bravery is and I’m so glad that I read a book outside my usual genre.  Red Notice is eye opening, confronting and has forever changed how I think when I read international headlines.