Gorky Park (Volume 1): Martin Cruz Smith (The Arkady Renko Novels)

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Gorky Park (Volume 1): Martin Cruz Smith (The Arkady Renko Novels)

Gorky Park (Volume 1): Martin Cruz Smith (The Arkady Renko Novels)

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Perhaps in that climate, nearly 40 years into the Cold War, a thriller set largely behind the Curtain, exploring how the Red half lived, was enough to titilate an audience.

Set in early 1980s Russia, Renko must also carefully negotiate the tricky balance when working with the KGB and navigate the secrecy of post Stalinist Russia. When investigating the murder of three American college students found frozen in the snow of Gorky Park, faces and fingers removed, Renko faces resistance from the KGB, FBI and NYC police. Three bodies with identifying features removed are found buried in snow near a skating rink in the titular park. S. after a visit to the Soviet Union in 1971 with the idea for a novel about a Russian detective, but his publisher was unimpressed.

Yet – and this is no doubt one of the factors that influenced novelist Smith in composing this novel – the U. Cleverly and intelligently told, The Girl from Venice is a truly riveting tale of love, mystery and rampant danger.

Kirwill is singularly dubious regarding this bit of investigative initiative on Renko’s part – “A face from a skull? He is a loose cannon, determined at all costs to solve the murder, and paying mere lip service to the Party - letting his membership lapse and unwilling to be bribed or 'influenced'. As they followed the Russian detective getting deeper and deeper into his investigations, the frisson must have been palpable.The victims - two men and a woman - were shot, and have had their faces and fingertips cut off by the murderer to prevent identification. It was also fascinating to learn how foreign visitors to Russia were treated - pretty much given free rein, and welcomed with open arms, but monitored closely and recorded during the entirety of their stay. Realizing that the only way to reduce his superiors' ire is to kill all the illicit sables, Arkady picks up Osborne's hunting rifle, but instead he decides to break open their cages and release them into the forest. Reluctantly Arkady is drawn into a web of deceit and corruption at the highest level, with the intention that he fail. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products.

None of these authors reach LeCarre's best, but all three manage to hit close to his average with their best, if that makes sense. Which matters not if he solves the case only he gradually finds out that he was never meant to solve the case because some Party members have other ideas. I particularly like the way he captures the psyche of the Russian people, drawing a picture of the food, transport limitations, restrictions on movement and association. Arkady and Irina become lovers after admitting their mutual attraction, but Arkady is convinced that she knows about Osborne's connection with the three victims, except she believes that Osborne has helped Valerya and Kostia to defect to America, with their friend Kirwill, a radical anti-Soviet, hoping to claim a publicity victory for having facilitated their escape.

In many ways, 99% of conversations of the time either consisted of (1) backhanded humor or (2) dark innuendo. Though not as evocative of city as some of his crime writing brethren ( Rankin's Edinburgh comes to mind) nor as compelling in characterization as others ( Sjowall and Wahloo), Martin Cruz Smith does enough to make us care about Arkady Renko and to want more of his imagined Soviet Union. In describing trying to process a body, there are pages about "the right forms": "Nobody would touch the body without the right forms. The last few chapters were a rollercoaster as the action decamps to the USA and I think I held my breath for the entirety of the penultimate chapter. Without giving too much away, everything ties into the international fur trade, and if Martin Cruz Smith is right, it's a bloody business.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.What follows is not just damn fine crime fiction, but an examination of the communist revolution, the good, the bad and the ugly of human nature regardless of ideology and finally a study of the juxtaposition of us and them.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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