The Margin of Evil is set in Soviet Russia, predominantly at the end of World War I. Moscow is a state of upheaval as the Bolsheviks look to consolidate their grip on power, whilst the Mensheviks look to replace them. The novel follows Georgii Radetzky, a Cheka agent who used to work for the Tsar, but is now working for the Bolsheviks.
The novel takes historical fact and constructs the story around it. Radetzky is aware that he is being used, but has little power to control his own destiny as a power struggle takes place in the top echelons of the Bolsheviks, notably between Trotsky and Stalin. The plotting and back story of Stalin is also described in detail. I enjoyed the book, but it did tend to jump between characters and periods of time quite regularly, which made it difficult to follow at times. Radetzky is constantly unaware of who he can trust and to what extent they are using them, merely knowing that he is being manipulated for the plans of others.
Rating (out of 5): ****