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A Fine Red Rain Mass Market Paperback – March 12, 1988

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ivy Books (March 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804102791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804102797
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kaminsky's three novels (including the Edgar nominee Black Knight in Red Square starring the shrewd, temperate Inspector Rostnikov of the Moscow police have attracted many readers. This new tale finds Rostnikov trying to save a young circus aerialist from the killer of her two fellow performers. The inspector himself is like an acrobat on the high wire without a net, a target of both his jealous supervisor and the unknown murderer. Working day and night, Rostnikov nonetheless assumes the added burden of helping his colleague, Karpo, catch the mad knifer of eight prostitutes. The inspector also foils a plot by a Soviet official who threatens Rostnikov's young policeman friend, Tkach, before this witty, intricate thriller reaches a suspenseful finale in the center ring under the Moscow Circus Big Top.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Moscow's top cops are on the case as multiple murders sweep the city. There's Rostnikov, once a hero in the great war against Hitler, recently demoted after clashing with the KGB. There's young Sasha, who looks more like a kid than a cop. And there's Karpo, intelligent and determined, feared by criminals. Together, they would track down the killers -- but what if their search led into forbidden areas, into the Kremlin itself?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
The first Porfiry Rostnikov mystery I read by Stuart Kaminsky was one of the last one of the series. So I picked up A Fine Red Rain (his third) to gain some more background information. I was not disappointed.

Rostnikov sets out to investigate the deaths of two thirds of a high wire circus act (one a suicide and the other an "accident"). Rostnikov does not believe in coincidence, and when he interviews the third person in the act, he discovers that her life is in danger as well. The inspector finds that there is quite a bit of monkey business going on behind the scenes of the Moscow New Circus.

At the same time, Rostnikov's associates, Emil Karpo and Sasha Tkach are investigating cases of their own. Karpo is trying to track down a serial killer. Tkach has come across a black market for western goods. This subplot is quite fascinating, and gives us an interesting look at the extensive black market (along with accompanying police corruption) during the communist era.

Kaminsky's Rostnikov series is excellent, and I only regret that he hasn't been more prolific in writing these particular books. Fortunately for me, I have at least six or seven more to read. I'm already working on Rostnikov's Vacation.
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Format: Paperback
Even though this is the fourth (but my first) book of the series, it was easy to understand the character and follow the action. There wasn't any problem understanding the relationships beween the different characters because Kaminsky spends just enough time telling you about what (I assume) has happened in prior to this installment.

You have to read this book in the context of the late 1980s Soviet Union. Gorbachev has just announced Peristroika, and a massive anti-alcohol campaign has begun. But all the strength of the System (read KGB)is still in place and Eastern Europe is quietly under the thumb of their own Communist Parties. But the cracks are beginning to show.

Enter our hero (literally) Inspector Rostnikov. He has recently been transfered (read demoted) to the local Moscow police from the equivalent of the federal police. He has been punished for trying to get out of the country by applying for exit visas to Israel for his jewish wife and son. His son who is in the army has been shipped to Afganistan.

The story which includes the 'murder' of two circus performers, the capture of a serial killer of prostitutes, and some machina- tions related to the black market is pretty straight forward stuff. It is the background stories related to the System falling apart, the day-to-day struggles of people to survive and the pervasive corruption in the System that makes this an interesting book.
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By keetmom on November 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
Stuart Kaminsky has created a fascinating setting for a crime series - Moscow in the 1970s when the Soviet system is starting to show the cracks that eventually brought about an end to communism in Russia. Inspector Rostnikov is an attractive central character - the cop with a heart of gold - and the narrative is compelling. A shortcoming is that Kaminsky hadn't visited the USSR when he wrote this series so he had to rely on secondary readings and his own imagination. He does a fine job of it, but one does wonder at the veracity of some of the details of his account especially the domestic settings for ordinary Muscovites. None of this is enough to deter this reader from seeking out more of Rostnikov's adventures.
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By Stanley A. Hirsch on January 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The series is good and captures the reader's interest. The books are hard to put down. There is some similarity to the work of Martin Cruz Smith.
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More About the Author

Stuart M. Kaminsky (1934-2009) was one of the most prolific crime fiction authors of the last four decades. Born in Chicago, he spent his youth immersed in pulp fiction and classic cinema--two forms of popular entertainment which he would make his life's work. After college and a stint in the army, Kaminsky wrote film criticism and biographies of the great actors and directors of Hollywood's Golden Age. In 1977, when a planned biography of Charlton Heston fell through, Kaminsky wrote Bullet for a Star, his first Toby Peters novel, beginning a fiction career that would last the rest of his life.

Kaminsky penned twenty-four novels starring the detective, whom he described as "the anti-Philip Marlowe." In 1981's Death of a Dissident, Kaminsky debuted Moscow police detective Porfiry Rostnikov, whose stories were praised for their accurate depiction of Soviet life. His other two series starred Abe Lieberman, a hardened Chicago cop, and Lew Fonseca, a process server. In all, Kaminsky wrote more than sixty novels. He died in St. Louis in 2009.