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Red Square (Arkady Renko Series #3)

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Overview

Back from exile in the hellish reaches of the Soviet Union, homicide investigator Arkady Renko discovers that his country, his Moscow, even his job, are nearly dead. But his enemies are very much alive, and foremost among them are the powerful black-market crime lords of the Russian mafia. Hounded by this terrifying new underworld, chased by the ruthless minions of the newly rich and powerful, and tempted by his great love, defector Irina Asanova, Arkady can only hope ...

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Red Square (Arkady Renko Series #3)

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Overview

Back from exile in the hellish reaches of the Soviet Union, homicide investigator Arkady Renko discovers that his country, his Moscow, even his job, are nearly dead. But his enemies are very much alive, and foremost among them are the powerful black-market crime lords of the Russian mafia. Hounded by this terrifying new underworld, chased by the ruthless minions of the newly rich and powerful, and tempted by his great love, defector Irina Asanova, Arkady can only hope desperately for escape. But fate has something else in store.

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

“Extraordinary.”
–Time

“Sharply, evocatively written and elaborately plotted . . . [Red Square] should find as many friends as did Gorky Park.”
–The Washington Post Book World

“Gripping . . . Smith at his best.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“A crackling suspense thriller.”
–The Boston Globe

“Fascinating . . . powerful.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Absorbing.”
–The New York Times

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

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Soviet upheavals have fueled the glowing talent of Smith (Gorky Park), America's preeminent writer of Russia-based thrillers. Investigator Arkady Renko returns from exile on the Polar Star fleet to find the new Moscow a dramatic battlefield of warlords and entrepreneurs; behind it, as still as a painted backdrop, eight million people standing in line. An ingenious bomb kills Renko's informer the banker for freewheeling black marketeers-leading Arkady's team through the quicksand of mafia-dominated official graft. His workaholic forensics expert, Polina (who must wait in line for morgue time as well as for beets), identifies the bomb method, leading Arkady too close for aparatchik comfort. He is bumped from the case, but only after a clue from the dead man's fax (Where is Red Square?) points him toward a Munich connection. Meanwhile, he is stunned to hear his lost love, Irina, on Munichbased Radio Liberty and with his last bit of clout wrangles a barely official trip to Germany. His mastery of the Russian system stymies the Munich embassy and reunites him with Irina in the midst of nasty fellow citizens bent on national theft. With vital aid from a Munich cop, Arkady links the fax clue to Russian bureaucrats, the ethnic Checken mafia, and German bankers. The novel paints the new post-Soviet aura through the stoic hero's wry humor and leaves Arkady and Irina perfectly poised, like Russia itself, for whatever comes next. Major ad/ promo; author tour. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345497727
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Series: Arkady Renko Series , #3
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 323,678
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Love Arkady

    Had missed this one while reading the series so went back to it. What can I say, I love spending time with MCS's Arkady. Quite frankly, anything MCS writes should be read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another fantastic novel by Martin Cruz Smith!!

    To say I loved this book would be such an understatement. Arkady Renko is back as is the love of his life, Irina. How these two find themselves thrust back together is excellent plotting and storytelling. Smith's take on Arkady being a fish out of water in both Munich then Berlin is priceless and the mysteries in the book are complex and layered. Great read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2007

    Truly amazing

    The Arkady Renko series is one of the best i've read yet. It's like once your hooked, you cant help but falling in love with Renko and all of Russia that he represents. Honestly, you don't know what you're missing out on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    Excellent

    I can't make up my mind which is Martin Cruz Smith's, (involving Arkady Renko) best novel: Gorky Park, Red Square, Polar Star or Havana Bay (I have'nt read his latest yet but I am going to look very seriously for it, now that I know it exists). I think that if I was pushed, I nwould say Havana Bay but after reading Red Square for the 3rd time I am not so sure. The way that Mr Smith strings his words together and the way his scenario's fit a certain situation, is absolutely fantastic. I don't think there is a better writer in this genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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