cover image A Cold Red Sunrise: An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Mystery

A Cold Red Sunrise: An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Mystery

Stuart M. Kaminsky. MacMillan Publishing Company, $16.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-684-18905-5

The fifth novel in the Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series offers another example of Kaminsky's ( A Fine Red Rain ) ability to spin a gripping, well-paced narrative peopled with vivid characters. Here the maverick Rostnikov, demoted after numerous battles with the KGB, is assigned to the case of Commissar Illya Rutkin, who was killed in Siberia while investigating the death of dissident Lev Samsonov's daughter, Karla. Inspector Emil Karpo, who accompanies the 54-year-old weightlifting policeman to the small town of Tumsk, has been asked by the KGB to report on his superior. Comrade Sokolov goes along, too, ostensibly to learn procedures, though Rostnikov knows his methods are under scrutiny. A realist and keen observer of humanity, Rostnikov deals shrewdly with the suspects in Rutkin's slaying: Lev Samsonov and his wife, Ludmilla; custodians Liana and Sergei Mirasnikov; Dimitri Galich, a former priest; and militarist General Krasnikov. As Rostnikov unravels the baffling crime, the clues point to loyalty and love as the motives for murder. The denouement is stunning and again proves Rostnikov is in a class by himself. (Nov.)