In his groundbreaking Gorky Park, Martin Cruz Smith created one of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko.
In Tatiana, Smith delivers his most ambitious and politically daring novel since. When the brilliant and fearless young reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow in the same week that notorious mob billionaire Grisha Grigorenko is shot in the back of the head, Renko finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia itself. The body of an elite government translator shows up on the sand dunes of Kalingrad: killed for nothing but a cryptic notebook filled with symbols.
A frantic hunt begins to locate and decipher this notebook. In a fast-changing and lethal race to uncover what this translator knew, and how he planned to reveal it to the world, Renko makes a startling discovery that propels him deeper into Tatiana's past - and, at the same time, paradoxically, into Russia's future.
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Renko still delivers a satisfying read
Yes, after the earlier Renko novels have been read. The character has not developed a great deal psychologically but still engages.
I liked Zhenya, Renko's ward. If there are further Renko novels I hope Zhenya is central. Perhaps a spinoff set of novels for Zhenya.
I found the narration too dour in tone. I know that the tone of the novel is dark and depressed but Strozier still needs to animate the narration more crisply.
- Mrs. L. Carter