Midnight in Chernobyl is a definitive and chilling account of the nuclear disaster that began on April 25-26, 1986 when the fourth nuclear reactor of the Chernobyl plant imploded, causing a nuclear disaster that the former Soviet Union tried to deny but had to reveal when the fallout spread into Europe.
Adam Higginbotham’s Midnight in Chernobyl “is a gripping, miss-your-subway-stop read,” said Robert P. Crease in a review published in The New York Times.
“The details of the disaster pile up inexorably. They include worn control rod switches, the 2,000-ton reactor lid nicknamed Elena, a core so huge that understanding its behavior was impossible. Politicians lacked the technical knowledge to take action, while scientists who had the knowledge feared to provide it lest they lose their jobs or lives,” said the review.
Higginbotham “captures the nerve-racked Soviet atmosphere brilliantly, mostly through vivid details about the participants,” Crease added.