Read Gorki Park by Martin Cruz Smith Free Online
Book Title: Gorki Park|
The author of the book: Martin Cruz Smith
Date of issue: 2006
ISBN 13: 9783570068281
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 417 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.7
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Between watching the ‘80s era Soviet spies in FX’s The Americans, and tensions running high over Russian activity in the Ukraine, it almost seems like Cold War never ended. In fact, because of a European consulting firm being brought into my workplace, I’m seeing Russians all over my building. Hopefully things don’t hit the point where I have to take to the hills and go all Red Dawn. Wolverines!!
With all this red scare stuff going on, it seemed like a great to time revisit this old favorite. It’s the early ‘80s and three bodies have been found under the snow in Moscow’s Gorky Park with their fingertips removed and their faces peeled off to prevent identification. Militia chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko finds an enemy of his from the KGB on the scene showing an interest in the bodies, and that can mean nothing but trouble. As he reluctantly begins to investigate the murders and discovers that one of the bodies was an American, Renko wants nothing more than to dump the case on the KGB since he’s pretty sure they killed those people anyhow. However, Renko soon finds himself embroiled in schemes that may mean that he’s the only who gets punished for trying to be a detective in a society that doesn’t want to admit that crime exists at all.
So the hook here is that it’s a mystery set in the Soviet Union, and even though that era has come and gone, it’s still incredibly interesting to get this peek behind the old Iron Curtain. Martin Cruz Smith didn’t just give us a procedural of how Soviet cops worked, he also provided a view of an entire country living under a system where covering your own ass had become an art form and logic rarely entered in to it. It’s kind of like working for a corporation only a corporation can’t ship you off to Siberia if you rock the boat too much. (Or at least they can’t yet. I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas….)
Even though this has plenty of Soviet political intrigue and an international aspect to it this doesn’t feel like a spy story, and that’s mainly because of Arkady Renko. During this reread I found myself comparing Renko to one of my favorite fictional detectives, Matt Scudder, because they’re both pragmatic men who don’t see the point in fighting a system that’s inherently corrupt, but there’s a quiet streak of idealism in both that believes that some crimes have to be answered for. Renko is stubborn with a sly talent for screwing up the plans of powerful people, and there’s a great worn down but not beaten element to the character.
Smith also had excellent timing when he created Renko because through the next several decades he could use his detective to give us mysteries that are also glimpses of what it’s been like for Russians through the fall of the Soviet Union and the aftermath today.
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Read information about the authorAKA Simon Quinn, Nick Carter.
Martin Cruz Smith (born Martin William Smith), American novelist, received his BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He worked as a journalist from 1965 to 1969 before turning his hand to fiction. His first mystery (Gypsy in Amber – 1971) features NY gypsy art dealer Roman Grey and was nominated for an Edgar Award. Nightwing was his breakthrough novel and was made into a movie.
Smith is best known for his series of novels featuring Russian investigator Arkady Renko. Gorky Park, published in 1981, was the first of these and was called "thriller of the '80s" by Time Magazine. It became a bestseller and won the Gold Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers' Association. Renko has also appeared in Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, Wolves Eat Dogs, Stalin's Ghost, and Three Stations.
In the 1970s, Smith wrote Simon Quinn and penned two Slocum adult action westerns as Jake Logan. He also wrote the Nick Carter with Mike Avallone and others.
Martin Cruz Smith now lives in San Rafael, California with his wife and three children.
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