Why didn’t someone tell me Arkady Renko is back?


Released in late 2010 Three Stations is the seventh book of the Arkady Renko novels by Martin Cruz Smith.  Setting all the technical and business reading aside, this common reader is reading Three Stations this week.

In Smith’s first novel, Gorky Park, the crime is typical crime genre fodder, gruesome bodily disfigurement of three fur smugglers.  What gets all the crime readers excited is the police investigator – Arkady Renko.  As “Russian army royalty”, Arkady could skate through his cold-weathered USSR life with ease.  However, he chooses to break every Soviet bureaucratic rule, at his own peril, to discover the truth about the crime.   

In 1981 Americans fell in love with Arkady because he challenged Russian authority and revealed to us that the Soviet bear was just not that scary anymore.   In some instances, he is quite droll. For example in Havana Bay (1999), he toys with the idea of defecting…to Cuba.

The YouTube clip, from Gorky Park- the movie, exhibits the extraordinary efforts Detective Renko uses to solve his cases.  Note the comments about green mildew, hysterical and probably ad-libbed by the actors.

Arkady Renko’s career parallels the political and social events in Russia and other Soviet Union countries over the last thirty years.  If you like crime novels and haven’t read the  series, give them a try. 

From Wikipedia

  1. Gorky Park (1981)
  2. Polar Star (1989)
  3. Red Square (1992)
  4. Havana Bay (1999)
  5. Wolves Eat Dogs (2004)
  6. Stalin’s Ghost (2007)
  7. Three Stations (2010)
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