Don't miss the latest book in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA by Martin Cruz Smith, ‘the master of the international thriller’ (New York Times) – available to order now!
AN ARKADY RENKO NOVEL: #5
'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid
'Makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin’ Independent
The iron curtain has fallen and a screen of nouveau capitalism stands in its place. Though the New Russia is foreign to Renko, the corruption and brutality that he encounters are all too familiar. The seeming suicide of one of Russia's new billionaires leads Arkady Renko to Chernobyl and the Zone of Exclusion, the still radioactive site of great catastrophe - a spectral netherworld populated by the corrupted, the obstinate and the reckless . . .
Praise for Martin Cruz Smith
'The story drips with atmosphere and authenticity – a literary triumph' David Young, bestselling author of Stasi Child
‘Smith not only constructs grittily realistic plots, he also has a gift for characterisation of which most thriller writers can only dream' Mail on Sunday
'Smith was among the first of a new generation of writers who made thrillers literary' Guardian
'Brilliantly worked, marvellously written . . . an imaginative triumph' Sunday Times
‘Martin Cruz Smith’s Renko novels are superb’ William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.WOLVES EAT DOGSMartin Cruz Smith. Simon & Schuster, (352p) Smith's melancholy, indefatigable Senior Investigator Arkady Renko has been exiled to some bitter venues in the past including blistering-hot Cuba in Havana Bay and the icy Bering sea in Polar Star but surely the strangest (and most fascinating) is his latest, the eerie, radioactive landscape of post-meltdown Chernobyl. Renko is called in to investigate the 10-story, plunge-to-the-pavement death of Pasha Ivanov, fabulously wealthy president of Moscow's NoviRus corporation, whose death is declared a suicide by Renko's boss, Prosecutor Zurin. Renko, being Renko, isn't sure it's suicide and wonders about little details like the bloody handprints on the windowsill and the curious matter of the closet filled with 50 kilos of salt. And why is NoviRus's senior vice-president Lev Timofeyev's nose bleeding? Renko asks too many questions, so an annoyed Zurin sends him off to Chernobyl to investigate when Timofeyev turns up in the cemetery in a small Ukrainian town with his throat slit and his face chewed on by wolves. The cemetery lies within the dangerously radioactive 30-kilometer circle called the Zone of Exclusion, populated by a contingent of scientists, a detachment of soldiers and those the elderly, the crooks, the demented who have sneaked back to live in abandoned houses and apartments. The secret of Ivanov and Timofeyev's deaths lies somewhere in the Zone, and the dogged Renko, surrounded by wolves both animal and human, refuses to leave until he unravels the mystery. It's the Zone itself and the story of Chernobyl that supplies the riveting backbone of this novel. Renko races around the countryside on his Uralmoto motorcycle, listening always to the ominous ticking of his dosimeter as it counts the dangerous levels of radioactivity present in the food, the soil, the air and the people themselves as they lie, cheat, love, steal, kill and die.
Another thoroughly enjoyable Renko novel. Dry humour and a complex plot set against a vividly described wasteland makes for an engaging read.