Saturday, July 28, 2007

Read: "Wolves Eat Dogs" by Martin Cruz Smith

Read: Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith, 2004, 9780671445957 (paperback).

Very good. This is the fifth novel with Russian police inspector Arkady Renko. Each one has been very good.

Arkady has traveled in all of Smith's novels. Based in Moscow he has also worked on a fishing ship in the north Pacific, traveled into Germany, and gone to Cuba. This time Arkady is forced to travel to Chernobyl for a murder investigation.

Smith's novels are a great mix of character, plot and setting. All three ingredients are used to wonderful effect. Arkady and other characters are well drawn and the Chernobyl setting is well described and plays an active part in the way the characters interact and the plot moves.

The restricted "Zone" surrounding Chernobyl is supposed to keep everyone out. But, scientists, squatters and villagers still live inside the radioactive area. The Zone used to be the home of thousands and included Pripyat, a city of 50,000 people. Arkady stays in the Zone with the scientific enclave to investigate why the business associate of a recent suicide Arkady investigated was found dead in an abandoned graveyard in the Zone.


George said...

I read this series and found the books become less interesting and less compelling as the series progress. GORKY PARK was definitely the best book in the series. If you enjoy Soviet Union fiction, I'd highly recommend Tom Rob Smith's CHILD 44, THE SECRET SPEECH, and AGENT 6.

Gerard Saylor said...

I thought the Havana set entry was quite interesting.

I read CHILD 44 and enjoyed it but the killer and cop connection was way too pat for me.

I'm a big fan of Brent Ghelfi's novels set in modern day Russia. Ghelfi always intertwines current Russian problems with his plots.