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Wolves Eat Dogs (Arkady Renko Novels) Paperback – January 3, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews
Book 5 of 8 in the Arkady Renko Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Why would anyone jump out a window with a saltshaker?" A good question, especially when the suicide victim is Pasha Ivanov, a Moscow physicist-turned-billionaire businessman--a "New Russian" poster boy, if ever there was one--with several homes, a leggy 20-year-old girlfriend ("the kind [of blonde] who could summon the attention of a breeze"), and every reason to be contented in his middle age. So, wonders Senior Investigator Arkady Renko, in Martin Cruz Smith's Wolves Eat Dogs, what provoked Ivanov to take a header from his stylish 10th-floor apartment? And how does it relate to the shaker clutched in his dead hand or the hillock of table salt found on his closet floor?

Renko, introduced in Smith's 1981 bestseller, Gorky Park, is a cop well out of sync with rapidly changing Russian society, "a difficult investigator, a holdover from the Soviet era, a man on the skids" whose determination to do more than go through the motions of criminal inquiries inevitably exasperates his superiors. Thus, when this saturnine detective declines to accept the verdict that Ivanov did himself in--who peppered that salt around the capitalist's premises, Renko still wants to know, and what about rumors of a security breach at Ivanov's apartment building?--he is exiled to the Ukrainian Zone of Exclusion, the "radioactive wasteland" surrounding Chernobyl, site of a notorious 1986 nuclear disaster and the place where, only a week after Ivanov's demise, his company's senior vice-president is found with his throat slit. There, among cynical scientists, entrepreneurial scavengers, and predators both two- and four-legged--an exclusive coterie of the rejected--Renko chews over the crimes on his plate. Unfortunately, the dosimeter that warns him of radiation exposure at Chernobyl does not also protect him from a pair of malevolent brothers, or a "damaged" woman doctor offering him mutually assured disappointment.

Smith has a keen eye for the comical quirks of modern-day Russia--its chaotic roadways, voracious appetite for post-communist luxuries, and evolving ethics ("Russians used to kill for women or power, real reasons. Now they kill for money"). And this story's bleakly beautiful Ukrainian backdrop nicely complements the desperate hope of Renko's task. Still, the greatest strength of Wolves Eat Dogs (Smith's fifth series installment, after Havana Bay) is its characters, especially Arkady Renko, who despite his lugubrious nature continues to show a heart as expansive and unfathomable as the Siberia steppe. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Tenacious Senior Investigator Arkady Renko is on another tough case, and this time even the air is dangerous. He is a man of few words and little nonsense, whose vulnerable heart and dogged temerity are his weaknesses. Smith's old-school Soviet detective, introduced in 1981's Gorky Park, isn't one to let a trail go cold. After being called off a suspicious suicide case, he is sent to the "Zone of Exclusion" (the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident) to investigate a tangential case. The Zone, where Renko's dosimeter constantly ticks at the amount of deadly radiation that pollutes everything, is occupied by scientists, eccentrics and old folks who have crept back into the ghost towns to live outside society. McLarty's naturally husky voice is well suited to the surly-yet-soft Renko, and his straightforward reading is fittingly raw for a tale where a shroud of bleakness taints even love affairs. With a voice like a keyed-down Don La Fontaine (the ubiquitous voiceover artist famous for the line, "In a world beyond imagination..."), McLarty's hearty, slightly raspy bass strikes an appropriate tone for the dangerous netherworld of post-Soviet Russia. His subtle variances and accents are practically unnoticeable, which is as it should be. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover. (Forecasts, Sept. 6, 2004). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Arkady Renko Novels
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671775952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671775957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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