Customer Reviews for

Tatiana (Arkady Renko Series #8)

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(7)

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(3)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

IMO this author uses a different approach to keep readers coming

IMO this author uses a different approach to keep readers coming back for more "Arkady Renko". Instead of relying on a formula of ever increasing and more bizarre butchery and violence, Smith reaches the reader with the characters themselves. Renko's sarcastic...
IMO this author uses a different approach to keep readers coming back for more "Arkady Renko". Instead of relying on a formula of ever increasing and more bizarre butchery and violence, Smith reaches the reader with the characters themselves. Renko's sarcastic humor and utterly noir view of Russia and himself refreshes contact with Arkady. The detailed descriptions of Russia are high appreciated and lend an air of compelling drama to his stories. This is talented character series writing at its best. Instead of becoming ordinary the stories bring the reader back like visiting an old friend. Why no fifth star? I'm brutal. Five stars are an exalted rating, Like for a bottle of 1967 Chateau Haut Brion, the fifth star is an exceptional rating. I'll be purchasing the next Arkady Renko novel.

posted by wandererDE on November 30, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

¿Tatiana¿, the 8th appearance of Russian investigator Arkady Ren

“Tatiana”, the 8th appearance of Russian investigator Arkady Renko, shows that Martin Cruz Smith is still on his game and still has something to say about the world's largest country through the eyes and experiences of this character.  

This novel shows glimpses into t...
“Tatiana”, the 8th appearance of Russian investigator Arkady Renko, shows that Martin Cruz Smith is still on his game and still has something to say about the world's largest country through the eyes and experiences of this character.  

This novel shows glimpses into the current situation between the government and dissenters, the importance of chess, the opening of formerly “closed” cities, and the current state of organized crime in the former Soviet Union – both outside and inside of official channels.  As usual, this Renko novel is very much dependent on its location; it would require extensive rewrites to shift this novel to any other country.

This novel ALSO carries on an unfortunate trend, in that the author had more to say about the government in the former Soviet Union than he does about what Russia has currently evolved to.  This is mild criticism, as those early works were absolutely wonderful in my opinion, while the follow-ups have been merely – MERELY – very, very good.  (Smith's “bad days” at the word processor are still much better than most people's “genius” periods!)

In my opinion, this novel left some subplots dangling.  Let's start off with “Piggy” (readers will learn who this is in the prologue).  Smith treats him as a minor character, who shows up on a few occasions to provide major advances to plot.  In my opinion, “Piggy” should have been fleshed out and given not just a subplot BUT a parallel main plot to the one that is described in the novel.  Secondly, Anya.  Smith paints a  very interesting (and effective) verbal portrait in her last meeting with Renko … then totally forgets that she exists.  I was waiting for closure; two days after finishing the novel, I'm still waiting.

I'm going to grade on a curve.  Normally, a work like this would rate a solid 4 stars, if not higher.  However, as Smith has shown he's capable of much more, I'm not going to be as generous.

RATING: 3 ½ stars, rounded down to 3 stars.

posted by Andrew_of_Dunedin on February 22, 2014

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  • Posted November 30, 2013

    IMO this author uses a different approach to keep readers coming

    IMO this author uses a different approach to keep readers coming back for more "Arkady Renko". Instead of relying on a formula of ever increasing and more bizarre butchery and violence, Smith reaches the reader with the characters themselves. Renko's sarcastic humor and utterly noir view of Russia and himself refreshes contact with Arkady. The detailed descriptions of Russia are high appreciated and lend an air of compelling drama to his stories. This is talented character series writing at its best. Instead of becoming ordinary the stories bring the reader back like visiting an old friend. Why no fifth star? I'm brutal. Five stars are an exalted rating, Like for a bottle of 1967 Chateau Haut Brion, the fifth star is an exceptional rating. I'll be purchasing the next Arkady Renko novel.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Another good entry in the Renko series!

    You ever hear yourself in a fictional character? I do. Every time I read Arkady Renko's exploits I hear my voice. Which is odd because I am nowhere near a Russian police officer. What Martin Cruz Smith is able to with his series is create a Russia that you both want to visit and avoid. The sarcastic and oft-defeated Renko is perfect for this world. Smith's minimalistic approach is always refreshing but at the same time I want to read more. I always I wholeheartedly enjoyed this but just wished for a longer adventure.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Great Story!

    Martin Cruz Smith is a wonderful writer. His Russian detective Arkady Renko is truly engaging with a relentless desire for truth and justice in a corrupt new world of Russia. This is a must read for anyone that loves great detectives, and interested in the world after the Soviet Union. This would be a fun read for a book club that loves a good detective story and contemporary history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    As is his custom, Moscow investigator Arkady Renko butts in whe


    As is his custom, Moscow investigator Arkady Renko butts in when a woman plunges to her death from her upstairs apartment. He is told she was a famous crusading journalist (something hard to believe in Russia, now or in the past) and it sets him off on an investigation that takes him to a place on the Baltic Sea very few of us even know exists. A map shows Kaliningrad as part of Russian territory south of Lithuania where there is a naval base.

    Renko becomes obsessed with the dead woman and eventually learns of corruption involving the Russian mafia, government officials and others (so what else is new?). It seems that a translator who attended a high level conference in Kaliningrad who had kept a notebook is also murdered, and his notes, written in an undecipherable manner, come into Renko’s possession. Unfortunately, he can’t understand anything in the notebook which would unveil the plot.

    Written in a tight and smooth manner, the novel flows from beginning to end. More than in past Renko novels, the story delves more deeply into present day Russia, its politics, business practices and corruption. It is a welcome addition to the series and is recommended.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Love Arkady

    Was excited to spend time with my Russian love Arkady again, and while the interlude was fabulous, it was too brief. That being said, MCSmith succeeded in whetting my appetite for a re-read of books 2-7.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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