“Darkness at Noon” by Arthur Koestler was first published in 1940. It is considered as his best known work.
The story revolves around Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik. The story describes his arrest, his trial for treason against the government he had helped to create, and his imprisonment.
The story is set in 1938, during the period of Stalinist Great Purge and Moscow show trials.
Though the novel does not mention the name Russia or the USSR, the characters have Russian names.
“Number One” is a menacing dictator; he alludes to Joseph Stalin. The story of the novel seems to be describing the author’s disillusionment with the Communism that was practiced in the Soviet Union.