To anyone who has seen the recent film on the death of Stalin, the character of Lavrenty Beria, played by Simon Russell Beale, may now be familiar. Though the film was a comedy (of sorts), there was nothing funny about the real Beria. A sadistic murderer, he rose steadily in the ranks of the Soviet secret police, first in his native Georgia, and later promoted by Stalin to head up the nation-wide force. Imagine if Beria had recorded all his crimes, including the very personal ones against young girls, in a private diary. That is not the premise of this book, which is a fictional account of how three adventurers come up with a plan to fake Beria’s diaries to make money. A decade after The Beria Papers was published, the Hitler Diaries appeared and one is forced to wonder if the forger in that case was inspired by this one. As I have taken an interest recently in Soviet and Russian forgeries, I was interested to read this novel, and found it quite appealing, and as regards Beria, well-informed.