From the award-winning, bestselling author of Gorky Park and Tatiana comes a breathtaking new novel about investigator Arkady Renko—“one of the most compelling figures in modern fiction” (USA TODAY)—who travels deep into Siberia to find missing journalist Tatiana Petrovna.
Journalist Tatiana Petrovna is on the move. Arkady Renko, iconic Moscow investigator and Tatiana’s part-time lover, hasn’t seen her since she left on assignment over a month ago. When she doesn’t arrive on her scheduled train, he’s positive something is wrong. No one else thinks Renko should be worried—Tatiana is known to disappear during deep assignments—but he knows her enemies all too well and the criminal lengths they’ll go to keep her quiet.
Renko embarks on a dangerous journey to find Tatiana and bring her back. From the banks of Lake Baikal to rundown Chita, Renko slowly learns that Tatiana has been profiling the rise of political dissident Mikhail Kuznetsov, a golden boy of modern oil wealth and the first to pose a true threat to Putin’s rule in over a decade. Though Kuznetsov seems like the perfect candidate to take on the corruption in Russian politics, his reputation becomes clouded when Boris Benz, his business partner and best friend, turns up dead. In a land of shamans and brutally cold nights, oligarchs wealthy on northern oil, and sea monsters that are said to prowl the deepest lake in the world, Renko needs all his wits about him to get Tatiana out alive.
The Washington Post has said “Martin Cruz Smith is that rare phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction.” In the latest continuation of his unforgettable series, he brings us to the inside world of shadowy political figures and big wig oil oligarchs providing us with an authentic view of contemporary Russia, infused with his trademark wit.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Hardboiled, hard-drinking Moscow investigator Arkady Renko returns in Martin Cruz Smith’s ninth mystery set in Russia. Arkady’s occasional girlfriend—respected journalist Tatiana Petrovna—has gone missing and he suspects foul play. His investigation pulls him into a network of politically ambitious tycoons and dirty dealings in the oil trade, culminating in a harrowing adventure in icy Siberia. Since 1981’s Gorky Park, Smith has used Renko’s adventures to showcase both Russia’s changing political profile and the outsize personalities of its citizens. His consistently lively and compelling characters and clever, unpredictable plots offer a thrilling reminder: Regimes may change, but people remain ruthless and messy.
MWA Grand Master Smith's stellar ninth outing for Arkady Renko (after 2013's Tatiana) finds the maverick detective, who serves as an investigator of special cases for Zurin, the Moscow Prosecutor, growing increasingly concerned over his inability to reach his girlfriend, investigative journalist Tatiana Petrovna, after she fails to return to Moscow as scheduled from an assignment. Arkady knows only that she went to Siberia. Meanwhile, Zurin orders Arkady to travel to Siberia to oversee the prosecution of Aba Makhmud, a Chechen terrorist. Zurin directs Arkady to insure that Makhmud, who tried to kill the Moscow Prosecutor, receives a lengthy prison sentence, and threatens to harm Arkady's stepson if he fails to do so. Arkady is keener to go to Siberia once he learns Tatiana is probably still there, doing a story on Mikhail Kuznetsov, the so-called "hermit billionaire," who may run against Putin in the next election. The stakes rise after Renko arrives in Siberia and becomes involved in investigating a Russian oligarch's murder. Smith does his usual superior job of blending plot and setting. This is a must for any crime fiction fan interested in the underside of Putin's Russia.