Tatiana: An Arkady Renko Novel

Martin Cruz Smith. Simon & Schuster, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4391-4021-5
In Smith’s riveting seventh Arkady Renko novel (after 2010’s Three Stations), Renko, now a “Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases,” looks into the apparent suicide of crusading investigative journalist Tatiana Petrovna, who fell from a window to her death in Moscow. Renko’s bosses have no problem accepting the suicide theory, but Renko and his loyal partner and friend, Det. Sgt. Victor Orlov, continue to search for answers. Smith spins a complex plot involving the Russian mafia, a teenage genius struggling to crack the code of Petrovna’s notebook, and an excursion to Kaliningrad, the isolated Russian enclave on the Baltic. While Petrovna may be a candidate for sainthood (she’s evidently modeled on real-life reporter Anna Politkovskaya), the most intriguing “character” after Renko is contemporary Russia—freer than it was at the height of the cold war, but at least as corrupt and vastly more unequal—into which Smith offers many insights. Agent: Andrew Nurnberg, Andrew Nurnberg Associates (U.K.). (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 11/12/2013
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