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Gorky Park: A Novel [Paperback]

Martin Cruz Smith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

March 13 2007 William Monk
“Brilliant . . . enough enigmas within enigmas within enigmas to reel the mind.”
–The New Yorker

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 the New York City police as he pursues a rich, ruthless, and well-connected American fur dealer. Meanwhile, Renko is falling in love with a beautiful, headstrong dissident for whom he may risk everything.

“Once one gets going, one doesn’t want to stop. . . . The action is gritty, the plot complicated, [and] the overriding quality is intelligence.”
–The Washington Post

“Reminds you just how satisfying a smoothly turned thriller can be.” –The New York Times Book Review

“An unbelievable achievement . . . vivid, witty . . . completely fascinating.”
Boston Herald American

“Gripping, romantic, and dazzlingly original.”
Cosmopolitan

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Gorky Park: A Novel + Polar Star: A Novel + Red Square: A Novel
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Product Details


Product Description

From the Publisher

10 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Cruz Smith is the bestselling author of the Arkady Renko thrillers Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay and Wolves Eat Dogs, as well as a number of other novels. He lives in California with his wife and three children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Cruz Smith Dec 22 2013
By Paula
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Who isn't in love with Arkady Renko? Enjoy Mr. Smith very much, sorry to hear about the Parkinson's but I know he will overcome. Prompt service, thank you
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4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Conflict Comes Synthesis June 27 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Gorky Park" is his first novel to feature Arkady Renko, was first published in 1981 and is largely set in the Moscow before the collapse of the USSR. Renko, the hero, works as the Chief Homicide Investigator for Moscow's militia - unlike the KGB, who deal with matters if 'State interest', the militia are more or less the standard police force. Renko, therefore, deals with the 'everyday' murders. Displaying one unfortunate trait for a homicide investigator, however, he has a distinct aversion to corpses - though he has a 100% success rate in clearing cases. Unhappily married and somewhat cynical, he's not quite as active a Party member as his wife would like him to be - something that has also had a negative effect on his career. He also appears to be something of a disappointment to his father, a very famous retired General. Renko's boss, Prosecutor Iamskoy, seems to have a certain amount of affection for him though - the Prosecutor actually won an appeal for a worker wrongly convicted of murder thanks to Renko's work.

The book opens in Gorky Park, first park of the Revolution and favoured above all others. Three corpses have been found buried in the snow and, as a result, have been very well preserved. This means that, initially, the time of death can only be estimated as sometime that winter. All three victims - three men and a woman - were all shot through the heart, with the two men also having been shot through the head. The killer, clearly an expert marksman, also has access to a weapon Muscovites cannot typically lay their hands on. No papers could be found on the bodies, which have also been mutilated - the fingerprints and flesh on the faces has been removed, making a quick identification unlikely.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to a series June 1 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Picked up this book at a used book store based on remembering that a movie was made from it.

Loved it and the main character Arkady. Have since read 3 other in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Out of Conflict Comes Synthesis Jan. 25 2007
Format:Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Gorky Park" is his first novel to feature Arkady Renko, was first published in 1981 and is largely set in the Moscow before the collapse of the USSR. Renko, the hero, works as the Chief Homicide Investigator for Moscow's militia - unlike the KGB, who deal with matters if 'State interest', the militia are more or less the standard police force. Renko, therefore, deals with the 'everyday' murders. Displaying one unfortunate trait for a homicide investigator, however, he has a distinct aversion to corpses - though he has a 100% success rate in clearing cases. Unhappily married and somewhat cynical, he's not quite as active a Party member as his wife would like him to be - something that has also had a negative effect on his career. He also appears to be something of a disappointment to his father, a very famous retired General. Renko's boss, Prosecutor Iamskoy, seems to have a certain amount of affection for him though - the Prosecutor actually won an appeal for a worker wrongly convicted of murder thanks to Renko's work.

The book opens in Gorky Park, first park of the Revolution and favoured above all others. Three corpses have been found buried in the snow and, as a result, have been very well preserved. This means that, initially, the time of death can only be estimated as sometime that winter. All three victims - three men and a woman - were all shot through the heart, with the two men also having been shot through the head. The killer, clearly an expert marksman, also has access to a weapon Muscovites cannot typically lay their hands on. No papers could be found on the bodies, which have also been mutilated - the fingerprints and flesh on the faces has been removed, making a quick identification unlikely.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars start of a terrific series April 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It was unfortunate I saw the Hollywood version of "Gorky Park" before reading the novel. The film does not do justice to the main character or the storyline. It cannot compare to the book! After reading "Polar Star" and Red Square", the second and third installments of the series, I picked up the original and loved it. More recently, "Havana Bay" was published, and later this year a long-awaited fifth novel, "Wolves Eat Dogs", will be released. Arkady Renko, the protagonist of the series, is an honest, dedicated, hard-working Ukrainian cop. When he was Chief Homicide Inspector for the Moscow Prosecutor's Office, he took charge of a grisly murder case involving the international fur trade. Very quickly, he fell afoul of the KGB. That's how his troubles began, which pursue him throughout all four novels. I recommend this series highly. The settings are supurbly drawn -- from snowbound Moscow to an Arctic Sea fish processing ship, from a steam-filled banya to the steamy port of Havana. Wherever he goes, Arkady brings his cynical love-hate relationship with the Soviet system which often impedes his work. Like Columbo, he outsmarts the sly evil-doers while seemingly fumbling his way along the investigation. And he has more lives than the proverbial cat as his sleuthing lands him in the most lethal stews! Author Martin Cruz Smith has created one of the most likable protagonists in police fiction. Cleverly writing the character as just "Arkady" -- intimately using his first name -- helps endear him to the reader. We care for Arkady because of his moral strengths, his humility and compassion, and despite his weaknesses. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and Exciting Thriller
"Gorky Park" came out in 1981, so some of the Cold War references to the KGB and the bad old days are dated, but it remains a top-notch thriller. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by Richard R
5.0 out of 5 stars martin Cruz Smith's at his BEST
Many writers today find a successful formula and stick to it... over and over. The only thing the same from Martin Cruz Smith's works are their high level of excitement,... Read more
Published on July 24 2003 by H. Row
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly GOOD!!
Gorky Park is a wonderful and perfectly-executed attempt to portray a Russian protagonist in a Russian environment challenged by an American killer. Read more
Published on June 10 2003 by Ian Kharitonov
5.0 out of 5 stars A genre classic!
Near the end of Chapter 11, Renko experiences a sharp pang of discomfort as the girl he has entangled in his investigation of three murders puts a cigarette out against the bark of... Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by templecola
5.0 out of 5 stars Genre classic!
Near the end of Chapter 11, Renko experiences a sharp pang of discomfort as the girl he has entangled in his investigation of three murders puts a cigarette out against the bark of... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2002 by "templecola"
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful detective novel with a dash of Cold War chill
I've always been a great fan of detective, spy and Cold War novels. This book brings out the best of all 3 worlds, but unlike so many American Cold War novels, Smith looks at the... Read more
Published on Dec 2 2002 by Cheryl-Ann Tan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spy who came in and went back to cold:
Arkydy Renko, an honest hard working, conscientious, public investigator, fights his way through a maze of evil and hostile characters, the cunning, ruthless American entrepreneur,... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2002 by Vijay B. Kumar
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
When GORKY PARK was published in 1981, the Soviet Union was still going on strong. Now with the passage of time the USSR is nothing but a distant memory and the former republics... Read more
Published on July 9 2002 by Angel L. Soto
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