Home » capucinecogne » My Blog » Blog » RED NOTICE, BY BILL BROWDER. Thoughts, review, write up.


I hadn’t cried reading a book for a long time. You might not think that Red Notice is a book to bring tears to your eyes – after all it’s a type of reality crime fiction. Red Notice took me through many emotions, the ups and downs of Bill Browder and his team, taking on Russian high society. Then, the suddenness of Bill admitting the moment he cried right in the last chapter, caused me myself to break down too.

This book is epic. The fact that it’s a true story is heart-wrenching, and totally captivating.

You will come out of reading it with truly a new perspective on the world around us – at least for a day or two. Whether it gives you more faith in our democratic political systems, through them passing the Magnitsky Act. Or breaks down your faith in humanity, through the profound insight we receive of Russia’s corruption, and the terrors inflicted on people within that system. Or perhaps restore your faith in humanity, because some people do do good – because they simply believe in their values and morals.

You might also come out of it wondering “would I have done the same?”. Its hard to respond to that question, having (fortunately) never been in a remotely similar situation. But we can ponder… Because its not easy to fight the Russian government, its not easy to put yourself through the ups and downs of a human rights campaign, and its definitely not easy to put your and your loved ones’ lives in danger for a cause. Whether guilt is involved or not.

Bill Browder as a character is pretty fascinating too. Someone that truly is not afraid to stand out from the crowd, to want something different, and to persevere despite the noise. Who is “debrouillard” as we say in French – i.e. gets shit done, figures things out, finds a way to make it happen.

Most of us want to fit in, Bill Browder actively “fit out” – and built a life from this.

Usually when a book begins with a scene to captivate the reader, it’s the final scene – such as someone disappears or dies. In Red Notice’s case the beginning starts with the middle, a key turning point, within the story. So you get to that point, thinking that’s it, we’re close to the end. And to be honest, even if it simply stopped there, it would be a pretty incredible book. But no, you still have an amazing, captivating part of the book remaining. (lucky us!)

It’s a book of multiple climaxes, and it will truly captivate you. Captivate your mind, thoughts, and feelings. The matter-of-fact, rapid way that events are described and explained makes you whizz through the book. I had to read it fast (three days), primarily so I could concentrate better on the rest of my life!

I highly recommend this book, if you want your mind blown, as you learn about the harsh realities that so many regimes in our current global society maintain still today.  

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