Indie Next ListNovember 2013
Cruz Smith's latest installment in the Arkady Renko series shows that he is in top form. Tatiana Petrovna, a daring reporter, has fallen - or was she pushed? - to her death. Renko starts investigating and is mesmerized by the reporter's latest tapes. Digging deeper, he finds a connection to the town of Kaliningrad, and what he discovers there is explosive. This is vintage Cruz Smith - a great read with twists and turns until the very end. -- Sue Richardson, Maine Coast Book Shop, Inc., Damariscotta, ME
In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith, “the master of the international thriller” (The New York Times) creates the most compelling heroine of his career and the most realistic, damning portrait of modern Russia in contemporary literature.
One of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko—cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive—has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith’s most ambitious novel since Gorky Park, the melancholy hero finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia herself.
The fearless investigative reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow the same week that a mob billionaire, Grisha Grigorenko, is shot and buried with the trappings due a lord. No one makes the connection, but Arkady is transfixed by the tapes he discovers of Tatiana’s voice, even as she describes horrific crimes hidden by official versions.
The trail leads to Kaliningrad, a Cold War “secret city” and home of the Baltic Fleet, separated by hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia. Arkady delves into Tatiana’s past and a surreal world of wandering dunes and amber mines. His only link is a notebook written in the personal code of a translator whose body is found in the dunes. Arkady’s only hope of decoding the symbols lies in Zhenya, a teenage chess hustler.
More than a mystery, Tatiana is a story rich in character, black humor, and romance, with an insight that is the hallmark of Martin Cruz Smith.
About the Author
Martin Cruz Smith’s novels include Stalin’s Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Star, and Stallion Gate. A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.
Praise for Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel…
Praise for Three Stations
“Three Stations . . . is filled with stunning prose. Such is the journey of every Smith novel: a mixture of undeniably artful prose alongside a sharp-witted and masterfully entertaining plot. With a tip of the hat to Smith himself, all that’s left to say is this: All novels should be as dark and mysterious and entertaining as Three Stations; all series should be so consistently excellent; all prose should be so dazzling; and all writers so talented as Martin Cruz Smith.”
“Engrossing. . . Three Stations delivers a satisfying punch.”
“Smith is at heart a deeply moral writer, and beneath his wry, cynical tone you can feel his authorial anger twitching a safe distance away. Paired with what reads deceptively like a native’s knowledge of Russia, it makes for a potent brew. . . . At times the writing mesmerizes with its originality. . . . Long live Renko.”
“By the time Three Stations’ intertwining story strands wind tightly together, a read has come to care about or marvel at the book’s various characters as much as (it’s clear) their author does. The more travails Smith’s long-suffering inspector suffers, the harder we root for him.”
“Smith’s point hits the mark with requisite force. . . . Basic human behavior—especially the worst of it—is so deeply embedded into psychological fabric that the same battles are waged even when the monsters keep shifting shapes.”
“Smith is a first-rate popular novelist, and this is one of his best books: tightly plotted, well-constructed, with a host of memorable secondary characters. . . . Smith is always an inventive storyteller, and he brings this setting vividly to life.”