Martin Cruz Smith's and#8220;masterfuland#8221; (andlt;Iandgt;USA TODAYandlt;/Iandgt;) and and#8220;irresistibleand#8221; (andlt;Iandgt;Peopleandlt;/Iandgt;) andlt;Iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/Iandgt; bestseller and andlt;Iandgt;Washington Postandlt;/Iandgt; notable book of the year: Arkady Renko must connect the dots among a Russian journalistand#8217;s mysterious death, corrupt politicians, murderous gangsters, and brazen bureaucrats.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Arkady Renko, one of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, 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 andlt;Iandgt;Tatianaandlt;/Iandgt;, the melancholy hero unravels a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia itself.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow the same week that a mob billionaire is shot and buried with the trappings due a lord. The trail leads to Kaliningrad, a Cold War and#8220;secret cityand#8221; that is separated by hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia. The more Arkady delves into Tatianaand#8217;s past, the more she leads him into a surreal world of wandering sand dunes, abandoned children, and a notebook written in the personal code of a dead translator. Finally, in a lethal race to uncover what the translator knew, Renko makes a startling discovery that draws him still deeper into Tatianaand#8217;s pastand#8212;and, paradoxically, into Russiaand#8217;s future, where bulletproof cars, poets, corruption of the Baltic Fleet, and a butcher for hire combine to give Kaliningrad the and#8220;distinctionand#8221; of having the highest crime rate in Russia.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;More than a mystery, andlt;Iandgt;Tatianaandlt;/Iandgt; is Martin Cruz Smithand#8217;s most ambitious and politically daring novel since andlt;Iandgt;Gorky Parkandlt;/Iandgt;. It is a story rich in character, black humor, and romance, with an insight that is the hallmark of a writer andlt;Iandgt;Theandlt;/Iandgt; andlt;Iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/Iandgt; has called and#8220;endlessly entertaining and deeply seriousand#8230;[not merely] our best writer of suspense, but of one of our best writers, period.and#8221;
Martin Cruz Smithand#8217;s novels include andlt;iandgt;Stalinand#8217;s Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Starandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Stallion Gate.andlt;/iandgt; A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britainand#8217;s Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.
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