'House of Meetings'
By pure coincidence, I picked up a copy of Martin Amis's 'House of Meetings'
soon after reading Anne Applebaum's 'Gulag.'
Big thumbs up if: A.) You like Amis's morose style and wit (I do) and B.) You're drawn to Russian history despite its depressing nature (see second link). Amis, who has previously written about good old Koba, gives classy credit to Anne's book for some of the material in his novel. ... 'House of Meetings' reminds me of J.M. Coetzee's 'Disgrace'
and Olaf Olafsson's 'Absolution.'
They're all about not very likable men looking back on their youths in oppressed lands (Soviet Russia, apartheid South Africa and Nazi-occupied Denmark) and their regrets and mistakes. I loved 'Absolution.'
The protagonist makes Scrooge look like Mr. Rogers. ... And, yes, I really do read Robert Parker books
after delving into Russian history and novels.