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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

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Red Square: A Novel + Polar Star: A Novel + Wolves Eat Dogs
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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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arkasha, you are my only hero! March 11 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 Smiley. I'm not Russian and I know nothing of Russians and the Russian way of life but these novels have such a note of authority and so many details that add up..... Didn't someone say that Tolstoy's genius lay in his ability to create "a world", a real world where other people - not just the protagonists - live and have their being? That's what Cruz Smith is able to do. And it's always in the small details that you catch your breath and think: Yes! That's EXACTLY how it must be! He also has the Great Writer's knack for creating secondary characters who are every bit as interesting as the principles. Martin Cruz Smith is 70+ now but I'm absolutely certainly there are at least two more Renko novels to be written. I only hope that Arkasha finds true love and lasting happiness while still remaining an honest, stoical, loving, kindly, loyal Militia inspector and, last but never least, a Russian.Red Square
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of Brilliance May 18 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 Intelligent Russian Thriller Feb. 28 2004
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. His characters are fully developed, flawed and nuanced. The dialogue is wonderful, down to Renko's self-effacing honesty and Irina's protective lies. Moscow detective Renko is heroic in a underdog sort of way. Here he confronts Russian mobsters in Moscow and Germany after the murder of an underworld financier and a fellow cop. It's simply good writing, good research, and a good plot. And Arkady's fans will be happy to see Irina again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book with a great ending Nov. 23 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 state.
And it makes a very significant statement about how the Russians feel about the new Russia. After hundreds of pages of predominantly negative portrayals of the problems of new Russia, you get a very poignant portrayal of how much the people of Russia want to defend that society.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery and History By a Master of Mood and Suspense
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. Read more
Published on April 14 2002 by David H. Stebbing
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 7 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 8 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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