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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Polar Star Paperback – June 12, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews
Book 2 of 8 in the Arkady Renko Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sprung from a state psychiatric hospital, Arkady Renko takes refuge in Siberia, ultimately working on a Soviet factory ship in the Bering Sea. When one of his shipmates is murdered, he's pressed into service. "Those eagerly awaiting the return of Renko, the saturnine, chain-smoking police investigator from Moscow who appeared in the bestseller Gorky Park , will be glad to know their hero is back in fine form," said PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345498178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345498175
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second novel in the Arkady Renko series is the one I actually read first. Renko has escaped his enemies by going to work in a factory ship, the 'Polar Star.' Here, he will have to use his talents to solve the murder of a young Georgian (Soviet Georgian, that is) woman who had been in contact with Americans. As in "Gorky Park," the Americans are not portrayed too kindly, which only adds realism to the story. The most extraordinary thing about this book is the absolute control that Smith has of its setting. Once again the author has proven that he can not only tell an interesting tale, but that he can do it with enviable talent: the ice, the cold weather, the trapped ship, the people who lie to Renko for their own reasons, the plots within plots, all of this is masterly interwoven by Smith with apparent ease. Although "Polar Star" does not advance the story of Arkady and Irina (for those with a touch of the romantic in us), it does provide the credible setting for the investigator's return home, opening the way for the third book. The Renko novels are all good, even if the fourth one goes against my romantic streak, and Smith only proves that he is one of the best American writers today, period.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Polar Star by Martin Cruz Smith is the second in his Arkady Renko series, and the sequel to his bestselling book, Gorky Park. Things ended badly for Moscow investigator Renko in Gorky Park. He's been fired from his job and removed from the party. Polar Star opens with Renko relegated to as close to a modern day Siberian work camp as you can get-a fishing factory ship called the Polar Star in the Bering Sea. Renko has spent a good part of a year stuck on the "slime line," where he guts and cleans fish.

Events change quickly for Renko when a young, flirtatious cafeteria worker is scooped up in a fishing net, murdered. Renko is called on by the ship's captain to help assist as Renko is the only person on board with a background in investigation. At first, the officer running the investigation tries to convince everyone it was an accident. But Renko knows better, and finally convinces enough people that he is allowed to investigate independently.

The Polar Star is working on a joint fishing expedition alongside American ships, and the possible suspects include not just Russians, but also, Americans. But as more crew members turn up dead, Renko's job becomes more perilous and his life is in danger. There aren't too many good places to hide on a fishing boat. The last chapters will have you on the edge of your seat!

I am amazed that Cruz Smith can write about Russian characters in a way that penetrates their psyche in such a convincing manner (especially considering he isn't Russian). Polar Star is also fascinating in that it takes place during the tail end of the Soviet Era, and we get a glimpse of how Russian's struggled to "see things in a new way." Usually, this "new way" was contrary to communist doctrine.
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By A Customer on November 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just read the first three Arkady Renko novels (Gorky Park, Polar Star, and Red Square) by Martin Cruz Smith, and am currently enjoying his fourth featuring the Moscow investigator (Havana Bay). I found Polar Star to be an extremely enjoyable read. It is uniquely set on a factory ship on the Bering Sea which consequently infuses a claustrophobic atmosphere into every page. In Arkady Renko, Cruz Smith has created an intriguing and realistic hero. Never before has a leading character been so easy to identify with and warm to. And in Polar Star, Cruz Smith has, in my view, exceeded the standard set by the brilliant Gorky Park. It is extremely well written, with an absorbing plot that gathers momentum as it hurtles towards a gripping climax. In summary, unputdownable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Somewhere in the collective memory, "Gorky Park" has been lurking for decades. If an author is lucky enough to see one of his novels turned into a successful Hollywood movie, he or she is guaranteed a future audience. And quite rightly so in the case of Cruz Smith. "Polar Star" is the first of his novels I have ever read, and for me it is an immediate hit. Here's a writer who goes to great lengths to come up with something good for his hero, Renko Arkady. I learned from an interview with Cruz Smith that after finishing "Gorky Park" (filmed with stars Lee Marvin and William Hurt) he had no plans for a new episode with the same hero. It took him some time before he saw the opportunity to come up with something good. Well, I am glad he took his time, because it is well worth it. This is the kind of crime novel that stands way above average because there's more than a corpse coming out of the Bering Sea here; there's the life journey of the hero of the series (this is only the second book about Renko Arkady, lots more have followed, with intriguing titles like "Stalin's Ghost") who comes from a police position in Moskow and is now a worker on a huge Soviet fishing ship. All the nitty gritty stuff of the life aboard this floating factory and worker's hotel comes to life: both the technicial and the political details. Life on this ship, the Polar Star, in the icy Bering Sea and around the Aleut islands (a sort of hair in the ocean coming off Alaska), is unbelievably rough.Read more ›
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