Red Notice

Red Notice

A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

Book - 2015
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A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin's corruption.

Bill Browder's journey started on the South Side of Chicago and moved through Stanford Business School to the dog-eat-dog world of hedge fund investing in the 1990s. It continued in Moscow, where Browder made his fortune heading the largest investment fund in Russia after the Soviet Union's collapse. But when he exposed the corrupt oligarchs who were robbing the companies in which he was investing, Vladimir Putin turned on him and, in 2005, had him expelled from Russia.

In 2007, a group of law enforcement officers raided Browder's offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund's companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder's attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear.

Browder glimpsed the heart of darkness, and it transformed his life: he embarked on an unrelenting quest for justice in Sergei's name, exposing the towering cover-up that leads right up to Putin. A financial caper, a crime thriller, and a political crusade, Red Notice is the story of one man taking on overpowering odds to change the world.
Publisher: New York ;, Toronto :, Simon & Schuster,, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781476755717
Characteristics: 396 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations, portraits ;,24 cm.


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May 18, 2019

This true life thriller hit number one on the New York Times best seller list. It provides a well-written narrative of the story of how the author, Bill Browder, made millions investing in Russian stocks under the Yeltsin regime and when Putin and his thugs took over, managed to pull his investments out just in time before the assets were all stolen by the oligarchs. But the real story is what happened afterward. I don’t want to give spoilers but let’s just say what is revealed from the cover: it’s a tale of murder and one man’s fight for justice.

I knew nothing about this case before reading the book. The closest I’d come was hearing that Donald Trump, Jr. met with a Russian lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton and the cover story had something to do with adopting Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, whatever that was. The 2016 election is not part of this book as all the significant events took place before that, but it is quite political toward the end and drags at times because of that. The first half could be a bit tighter, too, but all in all it was a very interesting and engaging read. It may change your views toward Russia and some Western European countries.

Mar 19, 2019

There's a lot I didn't like about Red Notice to the point that I almost gave up halfway through. I'm so glad I didn't though because the second half completely changed my mind and made Browder's book one that won't ever leave my thoughts.

Red Notice is the non-fiction (& memoir**) written by Bill Browder, one of the first Western investors in Eastern Europe, and his experience fighting corruption in Russia. Browder's fight escalated dangerously into a Russian ban, murdered colleagues, an Interpol Red Notice (or international arrest warrant), and most famously the passing of the US Magnitsky Act. You've probably heard of the Magnitsky Act recently in the news, as the "Trump Tower meeting" was set up by Russians to lobby against this law. Reading this book will give you great context for all the recent developments in US-Russian relations and I was incredibly moved learning about the bill's namesake, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

All of the above comes from the excellent second half of the book. The first half, however, is not good. Instead of great nonfiction, the first half reads more like a memoir on Browder's life. We read about his childhood at boarding school, college, his marriages, including the courtship of his current wife, and all other very uninteresting and beside the point aspects of his life. At least he keeps it succinct, which is the only thing that allowed me to keep going. What I most hated, however, is the shallow writing in the first half of the book. Browder comes off as insulting and arrogant when he describes every person he comes across by their "crooked teeth," "plumpness," or other equally unnecessary slights. If you can get through the first half, you will be rewarded with a moving, intriguing, and inspiring story of fighting for justice in the second half.

Mar 15, 2019

Rec by Australian lady

Feb 22, 2019

I read this book followed by Fear (Woodward) and while the two books are wildly different, Red Notice illuminates what Fear illustrates when it comes to Putin, Russia and how Trump and the White House became the subject of Mueller's endless investigation. Russian Collusion would be apt as the new name of a cocktail.

So let's talk about greed for a moment (because Browder doesn't seem to be too smart): Bill Browder gives up his US Citizenship most likely so he wouldn't have to pay US taxes, to become a Brit. Next, he forays into Russia, helps himself to $4.5 BILLION dollars worth of Russian stock being sold at next to nothing, reaps the rewards, makes his friends rich and when he is caught red handed (pun intended), he is forced to flee for fear of his life. Well, duh, Billie Boy. And then this guy has the nerve to go back to the US to enact a law (you can read all about it) to remove entry visas to bad, bad Russian ogliarchs who by now are in bed with the president elect.

Side by side, these two books will give you an A-HA moment. Now I get it.

Feb 17, 2019

This is a tremendously engaging story. I highly recommend it, but while reading it I kept wondering why a guy who seems to be as intelligent as Browder couldn't have figured out that there would be repercussions from publicly poking the snout of Russian oligarchs? Is it that he felt invincible, or did he get away with it often enough that he felt that he was untouchable?
Or did he have an Ego huge enough that at some level he just didn't care? Too bad he dragged others in with him.

Sep 02, 2018

Wow. An important and eye-opening read in the era of Trump's "Putin is a nice guy" rhetoric. The author recounts in compelling and readable terms investing in the Russian stock market, corruption of Russian officials and the oligarchs, the dire consequences of fighting back, and the creation of the the Magnitsky legislation. Appearances in the narrative by Senator John McCain and Canada's Chrystia Freeland made it all the more real. A real page-turner. The only difficulty was keeping track of dates.

Jun 20, 2018

May 28 2015
If you are a fan of spy thriller fiction, you must read this book. This is a true story of high finance, corporate shenanigans, government corruption, greed and even murder. Author Bill Browder writes with passion about his journey from investment broker to becoming a human rights advocate fighting against the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. His fight for justice takes him around the globe to Washington, DC, London and Moscow where he faces a life and death challenge.This is a page-turner! NC

May 15, 2018

Ever wonder what life’s like in Putin’s Russia. Red Notice is a good place to start. It’s the backstory of what became the Magnitsky Act but it’s much more than a story of a Western travel ban against Putin’s thugs. It reveals how arguably the world’s richest man is probably also the most ruthless. And revengeful.

The narrative sounds much like life in the Stalin era or in a Hollywood crime movie. But it’s in 21st Century Russia and it’s nonfiction. Couldn’t put it down. Also helped to understand why Trump adores Putin; he’d like to be that powerful, smart and rich. But Trump comes up short on all three counts. (note: the Trump comparison is my conclusion; Red Notice ends before the Trump era begins).

May 14, 2018

A fascinating read giving great insight into Russia and its financial workings. It will make a great movie someday I am sure. Reading the book was a true joy, one of those “I couldn’t put it down” books. Given all that is going on today about Russia, I highly recommend it.

Jan 02, 2018

I found this an excellent read although a terrible indictment of both the Russian and US political systems and to some extent British apathy. It also serves as a chilling reminder of the appalling abuses of power which exist wherever there is a lack of effective, regulated control on some mens (gender non specific) lust for money.

At the same time disgusting and enlightening and a remarkable tale of naivety and the power of guilt. Truly a reminder of mankind's carnal brutality, self interest and unfounded righteousness.

One review also led me to wonder why some folk even bother to get a library card! :-)

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