It is the dawn of the 1960s. In order to investigate the gruesome death of a brilliant, young physicist, KGB officer Major Alexander Vasin must leave Moscow for Arzamas-16, a top-secret research city that does not appear on any map.
There he comes up against the brightest, most cut-throat brain-trust in Russia who, on the orders of Nikita Khrushchev himself, are building the largest nuclear bomb ever created. RDS-220 is a project of such vital national importance that, unlike everyone else in the Soviet Union, the scientists of Arzamas-16 are free to think and act, live and love as they wish…as long as they complete the project, and build the most powerful nuclear device ever known.
With intricately plotted machinations, secrets and surveillance, corrupt politicos and puppet masters in the Politburo, and one devastating weapon, Owen Matthews has crafted a timely, terrific, and fast-paced thriller set at the height–and in the heart–of Soviet power.