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Red Square: A Novel [Paperback]

Martin Cruz Smith
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 25 2007 Arkady Renko Novels
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.



“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

–The New York Times

Frequently Bought Together

Red Square: A Novel + Polar Star: A Novel + Wolves Eat Dogs
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.79

  • Polar Star: A Novel CDN$ 13.68
  • Wolves Eat Dogs CDN$ 13.71

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

America's preeminent writer of Russian-based thrillers explores international crime and political upheaval in this 10-week PW bestseller
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --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

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the USSR June 25 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Red Square" is his third novel - after "Gorky Park" and "Polar Star" - to feature Arkady Renko and was first published in 1992.

Renko, the hero, works as an Investigator with Moscow's militia - more or less the standard police force - and has something of a chequered career. Never a truly 'practising' member of the Party, Renko hasn't always been thought highly of by those in authority. He has always wanted to catch the people responsible for the crimes he's investigating, regardless of the 'political' consequences - as a result of this, he was once dismissed from the Party for a lack of 'political reliability' and sentenced to a life in Siberia. He also appears to be something of a disappointment to his father, a very famous ex-General. (Arkady's opinion of his father - who is very ill as the book opens - isn't too high, either). However, after the events outlined in "Polar Star", he was reinstated to his former position - but is now working in a new Moscow that he barely recognises. "Red Square" is largely set in Moscow, Munich and Berlin in 1991 and is set in turbulent times : Germany has been re-unified and the breakup of the USSR is closing in.

The book opens in August 1991, with Renko and his partner - an Estonian called Jaak Kuusnets - on their way to a meeting with Rudy Rosen. Although Rosen operates as a banker for the various factions of the Russian Mafia, he has agreed to Renko planting a transmitter in his car for the duration of a Mafia-sponsored illegal market. (This is largely due to the fact that the militia have enough to put Rosen away for a very long time). Despite turning informer, Rosen appears to feel relatively safe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of Brilliance May 17 2004
By Anthony
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The thing I like most about Smith's work is how well developed and deep his characters are. This isn't just straight action like the disasters I've read by John le Carre. Arkady Renko is up against corrupt bureaucrats, powerful businessmen and rival police organs. They provide him with inept assistants, the bare minimum of support and outdated equipment, yet somehow he still manages to get his man using his tenacity and brains. Renko's attitude is what drives this whole series of books-the sardonic, poetic, romantic and brilliant musings of our hero reveal such a deep character, which keeps us intrigued during any slow parts of the action. Arkady always makes some kind of funny mental comment while he's getting beat up in a subway tunnel or shot at or feasting on a russian dinner of stale bread, yogurt and a cucumber, and it just cracks me up. The plot is also amazing, twisting and turning in so many ways. The first three books are essential, but don't bother with havana bay, it's pathetic compared to these. All things must come to an end, though, and it was great while it lasted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Top Notch Thriller! July 26 2003
By H. Row
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Third in the Inspector Arkady Renko series in Martin Cruz Smith's series of Russian intrigue. The series includes Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square and Havana Bay, SO FAR. We can only hope there will be more. (Smith is on schedule of a book every FIVE years. But the resulting work is worth it!)
Most 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, interesting characters and plot development. Arkady Renko is one of the most interesting characters in all of mystery fiction.
What Smith does best is gives the reader an insiders' view of a society totally different than what the audience is used to.
Whether it be Los Alamos during the development of Man's deadliest weapon in Stallion Gate, Cuba in Havana Bay, Japan on the brink of World War II in December 4th: A Novel, or Moscow in Gorky Park, with his characters on the verge of an exciting adventure for the reader to be a part of.Smith then introduces characters to his readers as if we had been their friends (or enemies) for years.
I judge other mysteries and mystery writers byMartin Cruz Smith's works. Some mysteries I consume like potato chips or pretzels. Very, VERY few do I savor each page as I do Martin Cruz Smith's excellent thrillers!
John Row
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although Havana Bay has been out a few years now, its predecessor Red Square and the two previous Arkady Renko mysteries should never be forgotten. Martin Cruz Smith is a master of place and mood. He is absolutely convincing that he's personally been in the places he describes and has absorbed the atmospherics of the setting. With a background of deprivation and impending chaos, the predominant mood of this book is suspense. Arkady himself is never safe, even when working the murders at hand with his own staff. Every sentence contributes to the feeling that only one's mental alertness and puny physical skills stand between survival and disaster.
It would be a serious understatement to refer to a "crime" in this book. As the Soviet Union dissolves and, with it, law and order, the spoils of the former Communist state are being gobbled up by the most nimble of the mafias. Among these, the most vicious are the Chechens, but every neighborhood of Moscow has spawned its own. Where is there not crime?
As the story opens, Arkady has been reinstated as investigator in good standing in the Moscow police. Once he has launched a murder investigation in the normal course of his duties, however, he is forced to continue, not so much in the name of justice, of which there is very little hope, but to keep a step ahead of palpable threats to his own career and safety. With action taking place in Russia and Germany, Red Square will appeal to readers with a taste for spy fiction. Although this book is fiction, it describes Russia in the turmoil of USSR collapse as well as any piece of non-fiction could. Creating a new society in Russia will be one the great events of the early 21st century. Smith takes you there, to be present at the conception.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Arkasha, you are my only hero!
I just adore the Renko series by Martin Cruz Smith. I think Arkady Renko is one of the finest fictional characters - not just detectives - in literature today, along with George... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Virginia
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Russian Thriller
The third Arkady Renko novel by Martin Cruz Smith, Red Square is as strong as the first two. Smith's writing rises far above the typical spy / thriller genre. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2004 by Richard R
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book with a great ending
This book is not only a terrific action/mystery novel that is beautifully written, it provides significant insights into the transition of Russia from a communist to a capitalist... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Author, Great Story
This book is great, a very good book in a wonderful series. You know this is a great series because of all the other books that claim to be just like it. Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by John G. Hilliard
5.0 out of 5 stars Please don't read this book before...
Please don't read this book before you read Gorky Park and Polar Star. And please read Havana Bay after this book.
There is no relation between the books. Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by ayayla
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Cruz Smith Did It Again!
All I have to say is if you are thinking of buying this book, do it. If you have not read Gorky Park or Polar Star first, then I strongly suggest you do so. Read more
Published on March 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Again, tops by Smith.
The title is a play on words, and things have really changed in Arkady Renko's Moscow. He's an Investigator again; he has been rehabilitated. Read more
Published on March 11 2001 by sid1gen
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word ... elegant
Martin Cruz Smith is no more a thriller writer than Steinbeck or Hemingway, indeed he is a master craftsman. Read more
Published on March 7 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the first three Arkady Renko novels.
I can't speak for the latest Arkady Renko novel, "Havana Bay," having not read it yet, but for me, the finest of the first three is the magnificent "Red... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2001 by Augustus Caesar, Ph.D.
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