Posted 20 hours ago

Gorky Park (Volume 1): Martin Cruz Smith (The Arkady Renko Novels)

ZTS2023's avatar
Shared by
Joined in 2023

About this deal

Gorky Park isn’t the easiest read, but it’s definitely an interesting one – to the extent that, in spite of feeling a little lost at many points, I wouldn’t mind reading more from Martin Cruz Smith, and am definitely going to follow the story of Arkady Renko. The story follows Arkady Renko, a chief investigator for the Moscow militsiya, who is assigned to a case involving three corpses found in Gorky Park, a large urban park in Moscow.

I know I first learned about the New York City Police Department from the Ed McBain novels, and that information has held up over the years as well as anything I learned in civics class. The author demonstrated talent in describing scenes in the story whether it is in Moscow, a Russian dacha, or a dingy New York hotel room you could visualize it and feel as though you were right there. I've been wanting to read this book for a very long time so it was disappointing t0 find that it wasn't quite as enjoyable as I'd hoped. Arkady says he will do so only if Major Pribluda of the KGB hands over all of the taped conversations of foreigners for January and February that year. While Renko is complicated and tormented by social and moral angst, Smith populates his story with a Dickensian cast of fascinating players.I have meant to read this novel forever and I am astonished that I only just got around to it now, but I am glad that I did – even if it was not quite what I had expected. They lay peacefully, even artfully, under their thawing crust of ice, the centre one on its back, hands folded as if for a religious funeral, the other two turned, arms out under the ice like flanking emblems on embossed writing paper. When Renko claps his hands in delight at a new revelation, we are just a few steps behind him, which is about the right distance to keep between a professional and an amateur in such matters. One of the wonders of ''Gorky Park'' is how easily we recognize Renko, the honest Communist policeman. Perhaps the point of Gorky Park is not how crime plays out in some alien and exotic society, but rather how similar that environment has become to our own in the West.

Here, the sense of place is as compelling (with weather as miserable); the plot and writing, a lot better. His friends and colleagues have troubles of their own, especially as one of his officers is a KGB informant.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Of course, Renko’s investigation into the three bodies discovered in the park lead to a complicated unravelling of events, involving the FBI, KGB and people much closer to home than Renko may have bargained for. To identify the victims and uncover the truth, he must battle the KGB, FBI, and New York police as he performs the impossible--and tries to stay alive doing it.

Arkady Renko is chief homicide investigator for Moscow's Soviet militsiya (the city's civilian police force). As they followed the Russian detective getting deeper and deeper into his investigations, the frisson must have been palpable. R. to purchase Barguzin sables for the fur trade, since the Soviet Union has a monopoly on those sables. Despite being born into the nomenklatura himself, Arkady exposes corruption and dishonesty on the part of influential and well-protected members of the elite, regardless of the consequences. I always held back from reading Gorky Park -- despite its decades long service as a dust collector on my shelf -- for fear that an American author during the Cold War could only deliver the shabbiest form of propaganda if writing about a Moscow cop circa the early 80s.

Later, in America, Renko is manhandled and passed around in the custody of the FBI, the New York City police, the KGB, and a rogue triple agent. Amongst his findings the pathologist Lyudin states that one of the men had a form of root canal treatment not available in the USSR, suggesting he was a foreigner, and that the case should be handed over to the KGB. You literally feel like putting it aside and not picking it up for a while, but still feel like turning page after page at the same time!

and the discovery of three bodies in Gorky Park is just the start of a conspiracy that will take Renko all the way to New York. So, I think you will enjoy this novel if you like crime stories with complex plots, set in very atmospheric locations, and with a central character who is a flawed individual battling demons of a personal nature in additional to departmental and political 'turf' barriers at home and abroad.

Osborne shoots two of the FBI agents as two KGB agents arrive, and the KGB and FBI agents are killed in the chaotic firefight that ensues. The authentic manner in which it captures a culture, and a look into the relationship-intricacies of two superpowers pitted against each other.

Asda Great Deal

Free UK shipping. 15 day free returns.
Community Updates
*So you can easily identify outgoing links on our site, we've marked them with an "*" symbol. Links on our site are monetised, but this never affects which deals get posted. Find more info in our FAQs and About Us page.
New Comment