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AN ARKADY RENKO NOVEL: #7
'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
Investigator Arkady Renko has been suspended from the Moscow prosecutor's office for smashing through the corruption of Russia's underbelly to uncover unpleasant truths. Despite this, he strives to solve a final case: a young woman is found dead in a work shed on the perimeter of Moscow's main rail hub, and Renko is the only one who recognises it to be more than a simple drug overdose. The case quickly unveils itself as an entangled web of murder, money and madness that stretches from the lowest of street urchins to the powerful billionaires, uncovering the extent of corruption and fear in an emergent Russia.
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
Smith's seventh Arkady Renko novel (after Stalin's Ghost) falls short of his usual high standard. The Russian police detective, now a senior investigator, is seriously considering quitting the force because his boss, state prosecutor Zurin, refuses to assign him any cases. Renko seizes the chance to buck Zurin by finding the truth behind the death of a prostitute found in a workers' trailer parked in Moscow's seedy Three Stations (aka Komsomol Square). While the young woman, who Renko guesses is 18 or 19, apparently took a fatal drug overdose, he believes she was murdered. A subplot centering on a mother whose infant is stolen on a train detracts from rather than enhances the main investigation. This disappointing entry does only a superficial job of bringing the reader inside today's Russia. Hopefully, Smith and Renko will return to form next time.