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Showing 1-10 of 106 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 207 reviews
on September 18, 2016
The characters are incredibly nuanced and well written. The plot and setting in Russia is fascinating. I am extremely fond of this series.
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on November 30, 2016
Mystery with lots of grim scenes, a likable detective, and gives an interesting sense of what life was like in Soviet Russia
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on January 3, 2017
Murder mystery with dark and rather depressing underbelly despite cleverly being constructed. Lifelike characterization.
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on March 7, 2017
This is a really good and long detective story. There are so many twists that it is hard to tell where you are. The characters are memorable.
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on July 31, 2017
The first well known Martin Cruz Smith book, and one of the best. It introduces Arkady Renko..

In my opinion Smith can stand right up there with the best, Sayers, laCarre, Grahm Greene, Len Deighton and the like. Fortunately he is still writing.
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on April 3, 2013
Martin Cruz Smith introduces us to Arkady Renko in what is to become the first of a thrilling saga of crime, political corruption, depression and death. But fantastic twists in the plot keep coming at you and the somber backdrop of Russia is shown in a subtle, almost endearing light. How does Renko cope with his decaying Russian environment? He's smart, he's lucky but he also has a dark sense of humor. He loves Irina the way he lives and works, with desperation. But he manages - against the specific instructions of the KGB and the militia to turn every stone and gradually allow truth to seep through.

In the process, he destroys the finances and political careers of his bosses and finds a love so intense and so beautifully described by MCS that the reader becomes emotionally involved too.
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on May 20, 2017
I enjoyed it very much. I live in a small town and after I read it I donated it to the public library - they were truly delighted to have. Seems there had been request for it. Now this should make a lot of people happy. A very good book.
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on August 9, 2014
It was hard to put this down. Especially in the first half of the book there is an amazing Russian sensibility. The moodiness and atmosphere were so Russian. The complications and double crosses never seemed to stop, but I was not alone in my confusion, for Arkady got misled as well. His strength as a detective is his willingness to change course in his thinking. The result is a book that never fails to intrigue and remains suspenseful clear to the last page.
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on March 12, 2017
This one is a Timeless CLASSIC!!! Vintage "Who Done It" !!! Truly a "Must Read"!!! Kept me riveted from cover to cover!!!
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on October 2, 2015
Martin Cruz Smith is the best storyteller in the world. Spin me a tale, Martin (called, "Bill") . Break my heart, enlighten me about the many layers of reality and how rare are finely tuned perceptions, and honest men. Put me there, wherever the story takes place, enthrall me and let me forget any other world exists until I know 'the truth' too. And so many other things, that I will read the story again and again for the knowledge of another world alone. Or in this case, listen to it. Henry Strozier is a magnificent narrator. He peoples the story with the voices of characters so real I feel they are in the room with me-rather-I am in the room with them, that room, or landscape, where they are. Cruz Smith's books are profound with exotic other worlds made ordinary by the voices of the characters as if the people, and situations were just outside my door. I feel better living in a world where millions of people, like myself, admire and care about Cruz Smith's vulnerable yet invincible protagonists. I love them all so I can't single out Arkady Renko as my favorite. They are not all the same, but they all come through in the end. There actually is a 'true', I knew it! It's not "your side, their side and the truth in between". What compels these heroes, is that there is a real truth that belies that chestnut. And it's so worthwhile getting to there. What splendid, elegant writing. What great story telling.
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