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by Martin Cruz Smith

Reviewed by Pete Ison on October 7, 2014

Arkady Renko is a famous investigator that some of you may remember if you have read the book or seen the movie GorkyPark? Gorky Park was obviously set in Communist era but this is the new Russia, steeped in corruption and secrecy. Arkady and his alcoholic partner Victor Orlov are attending the funeral of a big shot mob millionaire Grisha Grigorenko who has been murdered. They are not really there to pay their respects, just to take photos of the mourners, hoping that they may help with the murder investigation.
On leaving the funeral, Arkady gets caught up in protest march for Tatiana
Petrovna a famous and uncompromising television reporter who had
committed suicide the week before. He stays with the protest because his
sometimes girl friend, Anya also happens to be there and when the protest
turns violent he ends up being beaten and almost arrested.
Arkady’s girlfriend convinces Arkady to investigate the suicide of Tatiana
and in doing so, Arkady stumbles across a now dead translators notebook
written in code that seems to have come from a remote beach near the old
‘Cold War’ secret city of Kalingrad. Why is it that everybody seems to be
chasing the notebook and how is a murdered dead mobster linked? Has what
Tatiana was investigating anything to do with it? Arkady listens to her
audio tapes he finds in Tatiana’s apartment hoping for more clues and ends
up being infatuated with the now dead reporter.
Well written with enough sub plots to keep you guessing this is a very good
read from Martin Cruz Smith.

Pete Ison‘s rating: 9 out of 10

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