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* Don't miss the latest in the Arkady Renko series, THE SIBERIAN DILEMMA, by Martin Cruz Smith, a novelist 'that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' (Val McDermid) *
'Martin Cruz Smith makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin’ Independent
Once the Chief Investigator of the Moscow Militsiya, Arkady Renko is now a pariah of the Prosecutor's Office and has been reduced to investigating reports of late-night subway riders seeing the ghost of Joseph Stalin. Part political hocus-pocus, part wishful thinking - even the illusion of the bloody dictator has a higher approval rating than Renko. After being left by his lover for a more popular and successful detective, Renko's investigation becomes a jealousy-fuelled quest leading to the barren fields of Tver, where millions of soldiers fought, and lost their lives. Here, scavengers collect bones, weapons and paraphernalia off the remains of those slain, but there's more to be found than bullets and boots.
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
'A wonderful surprise of a novel’ William Ryan, author of The Constant Soldier
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
There are few more intriguing places than modern Russia. This deeply suspenseful novel does a brilliant job of welding together a past that often haunts a nation with contemporary tensions and paranoias. In his sixth book, we meet Arkady Renko once more—now in the cold at the Moscow Milisiya and investigating a murder-for-hire scheme that brings him to two colleagues. Pointing fingers at high profile men comes with it certain danger and our dogged, robust hero suddenly finds himself fighting for survival.
Moscow-based Senior Investigator Arkady Renko, in his outstanding sixth outing (after Wolves Eat Dogs), investigates a murder-for-hire scheme that leads him to suspect two fellow police detectives, Nikolai Isakov and Marat Urman, both former members of Russia's elite Black Berets, who served in Chechnya. Isakov, a war hero, is now running for public office. Renko must also look into reports that the ghost of Stalin has begun appearing on subway platforms and why several bodies of Black Berets who served in Chechnya with Isakov have turned up in the morgue. Despite repeated threats to his life, Renko stubbornly perseveres, seeking justice in a land that has no official notion of that concept. Smith eschews vertiginous twists and surprises, concentrating instead on Renko as he slowly and patiently builds his case until the pieces fall together and he has again, if not exactly triumphed, at least survived. This masterful suspense novel casts a searing light on contemporary Russia. 250,000 first printing.