The Skripal Files: The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy by Mark Urban

The Life and Near Death of a Russian Spy

THE PITCH It is high summer in Madrid, 1996. Two men are walking in the Parque del Retiro. It’s a working day so they are wearing office attire, which just raises the temperature still further. The older of the pair is a couple of weeks past his forty-fifth birthday, big, with a boxer’s physique. He is fair-skinned and looks a little out of place among the Spaniards who flit along the paths pushing their kids in strollers or walking hand in hand. The other, maybe a decade younger, maybe more, appears to be Spanish. He’s darker, dressed the way the Madrileños might dress, and outwardly he appears more at home. But at the same time he doesn’t quite look relaxed. The park’s thoroughfares tell the story of the pet projects of Spain’s Bourbon monarchs and statesmen. There is one section created in the formal French style with neat trimmed hedges […]