My fourth Robert Harris after the excellent [b:Imperium|243601|Imperium (Cicero, #1)|Robert Harris|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1173066789s/243601.jpg|1237325], the satisfactory [b:Pompeii|880|Pompeii|Robert Harris|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320449408s/880.jpg|268880] and the not so good [b:Enigma|843989|Enigma|Robert Harris|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320533330s/843989.jpg|1083681].
"Archangel" comes close to being as good as [b:Imperium|243601|Imperium (Cicero, #1)|Robert Harris|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1173066789s/243601.jpg|1237325]. In fact, if the third half (apart from the excellent and unexpected ending) weren't dull, it would be even better than "Imperium".
But I still think this is one of the best novels written about stalinism in Russia. If you are wary of reading non-fiction but nevertheless are interested to know more about Joseph Stalin and the USSR, this book would prove to be an excellent companion.