As a fan of Russian history anything set against the backdrop of a turbulent twentieth century Russia has the potential to be very good.
Potential of course is one thing but it will only blossom into the completed thing if the historical accuracy is there and if the facts are lightly interweaved with decent plot and narrative.
Half way in you have to say that Rob Smith manages pretty well. At first he darts around with both the history and location and characters are being introduced at a rate that makes it difficult to get bedded down with ther story. But once into the main character Leo things start to unfold.
In a society where even the executioners are being watched and everyone is guilty without evidence what hope is there for a man discovering the state has lied to him all of his life?