As one of the few true tell-alls about the Soviet secret police, covering the mid-twenties onwards to the 2nd World War, I Was An NKVD Agent makes a suspenseful and startling showing, as well as offering an important index to the totalitarian mind. Beginning life as a favored son of the revolution, former comrade Granovsky cavorted with the corps d'elite, cold-bloodedly accepted the new order's rattle of regimentation. When, however, his father, an industrial bureaucrat, during one of the bloody purges is branded ""enemy of the people"", young Granovsky, half -dead from Butirki prison, agrees to play counter-spy, whereby he watches his fellows while several others are watching him. Over the years he catalogues a day-to-day chamber of horrors: orgies, suicides, mass murders, espionage, sabotage, propaganda, false confessions, lessons in sexual automation, international intrigues, impersonations- all making him as calculating as a machine. But after the rape and death of his sweetheart and against the battle-torn backdrops of Kiev, Berlin and Prague, a drained and disillusioned Granovsky decides he can take no more; defecting to the West he is given sanctuary by Sweden's Gustave II. Molotov, Beria, Zorin, Gottwald, American ambassador Davies (whose Mission to Moscow innocence gets a good drubbing) and ""Uncle Joe"" are all commented upon in ripe, revealing style. A dark side of recent history frighteningly illuminated.