Gorky Park (Arkady Renko Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Brilliant...One of the best books of the season."
ASSOCIATED PRESS
A triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three corpses found frozen in the snow, faces and fingers missing. Chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko is brilliant, sensitive, honest, and cynical about everything except his profession. To identify the victims and uncover ...
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Gorky Park (Arkady Renko Series #1)

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Overview

"Brilliant...One of the best books of the season."
ASSOCIATED PRESS
A triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three corpses found frozen in the snow, faces and fingers missing. Chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko is brilliant, sensitive, honest, and cynical about everything except his profession. 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.


From the Paperback edition.

THIS TITLE COMES FROM MORTALIS: Mysteries and Thrillers

Random House Trade Paperbacks is please to present Mortalis, a line of books featuring mysteries and thrillers that are historical and/or international in scope. The list includes trade paperback originals as well as reprints of classic mysteries, international thrillers, and the occasional tale of true crime.

"Mortalis gives us an ideal way to introduce the best new writers as well as to celebrate the masters in these genres," said Jane von Mehren, Vice President and Publisher, Trade Paperbacks, Random House Publishing Group.

Mortalis republishes some classic authors such as Martin Cruz Smith , P. D. James, Robert Harris, Agatha Christie, and Wilkie Collins as well as original trade paperbacks such as Boris Akunin's SISTER PELAGIA AND THE WHITE BULLDOG (the start of a new series from an internationally bestselling author), New York Times Notable author David Corbett's BLOOD OF PARADISE, and Alex Carr's literary thriller AN ACCIDENTAL AMERICAN. Featuring stunning new packaging, each title contains a "dossier" in the back-a brand new commentary section that illuminates a specific and intriguing aspect of the work, or the author's career.

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Editorial Reviews

Associated Press
Brilliant...One of the best books of the season.
Library Journal
I love tough-guy stories; I read them all the time, especially when I'm avoiding the topic of weddings. Er, my wedding. Gorky Park is the first novel of the Arkady Renko series, and it whomps you across the head with a combination of detective fiction and Soviet-era espionage. I came to it after reading Polar Star, Havana Bay, and Wolves Eat Dogs. Each (numbers two, four, and five in the series) is pretty masterful, and all have common elements of a tough-guy story: Our Hero (if he were a cowboy, his hat would be white) is up against it, he's got some innocent chick on the hook, and he doesn't know whom to trust. Renko has all that in spades, and GP immediately confronts readers with three mutilated corpses. Then the KGB arrives, so it's cool. Wait, they don't take the case? Well, jeez, OK then. Chief Investigator Renko starts with the normal procedural stuff like canvassing locals and digging into unsolved missing-persons files before settling on...audio tapes. Yeah! Audio tapes will solve the case! Or, wait, who's that older American guy? And why is he kicking the crap out of Renko? Things get WEIRDER, eventually amping up to a long-ass fever dream, all swamps and double crosses and murder and vodka. Plus, Renko is imprisoned on a farm, and there's a huge fire, and DUDE WTF IS GOING ON CAN SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE THIS STOP AND EXPLAIN IT TO ME? And, suddenly, they're on Staten Island? Um, check please? Part Mr. Majestyk, part Soviet Spenser for Hire, Arkady Renko will punch your lights out and then share his vodka with you.—Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," BookSmack! 8/5/10
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307809797
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/23/2011
  • Series: Arkady Renko Series , #1
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 55,857
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Martin Cruz Smith
Best known for the Moscow detective novel Gorky Park, Martin Cruz Smith is also known for delivering stories of crime, conspiracy and intrigue featuring protagonists whose loyalties are sometimes murky. Whether he is dramatizing history or fashioning his own facts, Smith fills his deeply researched novels with a sense of darkness underneath the detail.

Biography

"You have to be an outsider to write," the novelist Martin Cruz Smith has said, and the protagonists of Smith's novels also tend to be outsiders, viewing their surroundings with the wariness and sharpened attention of the displaced. Smith spent his early writing years churning out potboilers, but with the 1977 publication of Nightwing, a bestseller about a plague of vampire bats that descends on a Hopi Indian reservation, Smith finally earned enough money to embark on the book he really wanted to write: a detective novel set in Moscow.

The book opens on a grisly scene: three corpses are found frozen in Gorky Park, their faces and fingerprints obliterated. Homicide investigator Arkady Renko is put on the case, but his superiors seem less than eager to uncover the truth. Dense, atmospheric and intricately plotted, Gorky Park drew comparisons to the spy novels of John le Carré. It was hugely successful, and was made into a movie starring William Hurt in 1983. Smith wrote a historical novel about the first atom bomb, Stallion Gate, before returning to Renko’s checkered career as a detective in Polar Star and Red Square. Though he bears some resemblance to the disaffected detective of noir tradition, the cynical, depressive Renko also exemplifies the Soviet dissident -- an outsider in his own country.

Renko has been immensely popular with readers, some of whom were disappointed when Smith's 1996 novel Rose featured a new protagonist. But most Renko fans were won over by boozy, broke mining engineer Jonathan Blair, who arrives in an English coal-mining town on a mission to clear up the mysterious disappearance of the local curate. Time magazine called Rose "the most interesting and richly textured crime story of the season."

One thing that sets Smith's work apart from other thrillers is the breadth and depth of his research. Before writing Gorky Park, the author visited Moscow, befriended exiled Russians and read scores of Russian newspapers and magazines in translation. For Rose, he spent weeks in Lancashire talking with miners and visiting mines. Smith's recent works Havana Bay, in which Renko goes to Cuba, and December 6, set in Tokyo just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, are equally fortified with research.

Though he's best known for Gorky Park, now considered a classic in the spy thriller genre, Smith is clearly a writer with more than one trick up his sleeve. "I never thought I would just be doing Arkady books," he once told a Salon interviewer. "I never intended to do any after Gorky Park, so I was pretty amazed when people asked me a few years ago what I was going to do now that the Cold War was over, as if I had been manufacturing missiles. I hate to be categorized. The great thing about being a writer is that you are always recreating yourself."

Good To Know

Martin Cruz Smith was born Martin William Smith, but changed his middle name to his grandmother's surname, Cruz. Smith is the son of a white jazz musician and a Pueblo Indian jazz singer.

George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier was one inspiration for Smith's novel Rose, set in the English coal-mining town of Wigan; another was a magazine article about the "pit girls" who flouted Victorian convention by wearing pants for their dangerous jobs above the mines.

Havana Bay, which reached No. 17 on the bestseller list, apparently didn't sell quite well enough to keep both author and publishers happy; a Random House publicity director told Salon that "[Havana Bay] didn't do as well as we'd hoped." After it came out, Smith left Random House for Simon & Schuster, which was looking to add more authors who could draw a male audience.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Martin William Smith (birth name); Simon Quinn; Jake Logan
    2. Hometown:
      San Rafael, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 3, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Reading, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1964
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2007

    fantastic!

    this is absolutely one of the best books i have ever read. the characters are wonderful, the stage is frightening but most of all, the dialogue is absolutely fabulous.this book is so good i find myself comparing it to other books. the dialogue is probably the best i have ever read and that's saying a lot.the plot is wonderful, the romance is believable. there is nothing wrong with this book. it is perfect.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!

    Great Read!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    A Great Thriller

    I have just re-read William Cruz Smith's wonderful 'Gorky Park.' Somehow Smith's work had escaped my notice since I read 'Gorky Park' nearly twenty years ago. It won't happen again. Smith creates complex characters and relationships with an eye -- and ear -- as sharp as John LeCarre's. 'Gorky Park' tells us of the wonderful Arkady Renko and the bureaucrats and cops, both Russian and American, with whom he must deal. It is very much a thriller with bloodshed and treachery throughout. But this is a carefully crafted book. Every character is multifaceted and believable. Highest recommendation.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A stunning thriller. This book really blew me away. How do you i

    A stunning thriller. This book really blew me away. How do you investigate a murder when you keep running into roadblocks set up by your own superiors? Arkady Renko, patriot that he is, determines to get to the bottom of things. Along with Fatherland, this is probably the best of police investigations set in a totalitarian regime.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The Renko series is one of the best I've ever read. Arkady Renko

    The Renko series is one of the best I've ever read. Arkady Renko is a deep characterization of a man who is outside a system and yet molded by it. As you read the series you see the character's own realization of change. Though the change has come with many sorrows he trudges on. The writing is beautiful. Snow becomes a character. Chernobel lives on. The dialogue is sharp and at times hilarious. Now that Gorky Park is on the nook I am going to start at the beginning once again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    LOVED THIS BOOK! WOULD TOTALLY RECOMMEND

    I had been looking for a book about Russia that was set in a more modern-day time period instead of during the beginning or middle of the Cold War. Gorky Park takes place when the Cold War is coming to an end and the Soviet Union is soon to be over thrown.

    Smith does a good job of showing how the government was run and what happen to those who didn't agree. GP is exciting, suspensful, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. I would definitely recommend this book to others and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

    Overall great read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Refreshing tale that is Spellbinding!

    Martin Smith created a story with all the right essentials for a super suspense filled mystery. There is romance, companionship, death (brutal mine you; faces mutilated, fingerprints removed), corruption and violence, betrayal and it all takes place in Russia. Then you combine the story with an author that can write a tale that is fresh and spellbinding then you have super novel.
    In my opinion this is still one of the best mystery novels out on the market today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2000

    Mystery with a Spy twist

    The best view at a modern day Moscow yet. Cruz gives you great insight to the mystique and political intrigue of Russia. The characters are great and interesting along with a suspensful story and plot help give the book Gorky Park, a good name.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2014

    Too many Russian names and places too soon. This was the second

    Too many Russian names and places too soon. This was the second time I tried to read this book. The first time I got through probably a few dozen pages and gave up. Just lately, I plowed my way through to page 132. I was so busy trying to keep names, departments, places straight that I'd practically forgotten the 3 people whose bodies were discovered at the beginning of the book and I no longer cared. Couldn't warm up to the main character and finally put the book in the box to donate to our library book sale. Then I picked up an as yet unread Colin Dexter and sighed with relief.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Not that great

    While it is his first book, the plot line is absurd.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2010

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    Posted October 2, 2013

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    Posted February 7, 2013

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    Posted January 18, 2014

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    Posted January 13, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

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    Posted June 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

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