Library Reading Group 19th September – Martin Cruz Smith

We had decided to give ourselves a summer holiday in August and met in September at the “Pop Up Library” to discuss our choices of anything written by a Russian author or set in Russia. There was an eclectic mix!

Quite by chance two members had read the first and the latest of the Arkady Renko series by Martin Cruz Smith, Gorky Park and Tatiana

Gorky Park published in 1981, introduces Arkady Renko, a Muscovite investigator on the trail of a triple murderer in Soviet Russia. Of a distinguished military family, he has chosen to become a policeman and has all the problems we are used to in a detective, disillusionment, broken marriage, drunkenness, he doggedly pushes against corruption in the hierarchy falling in love on the way. Quietly and cynically he rails against the “cult of personality” which speaks of Stalin as “He” and “Him” as we in the west might talk of God. Surprising twists, interesting characters, an unusual thriller.

Tatiana is the eighth in the Renko series and tells the story of a female Russian investigative journalist who goes missing and is clearly inspired by the killing of Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. Published in 2013 we are now in post Soviet Russia but Arkady is still battling organised crime and the system.

Another group member read

September 28, 2018