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Three Stations: An Arkady Renko Novel Paperback – Sep 6 2011


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Three Stations: An Arkady Renko Novel + Wolves Eat Dogs + Stalin's Ghost: An Arkady Renko Novel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reissue edition (Sept. 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743276752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743276757
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #243,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“The sustained success of Smith’s Renko books is based on much more than Renko. This author’s gift for tart, succinct description creates a poisonous political backdrop, one that makes his characters’ survival skills as important as any of their other attributes. . . [This is] one top-flight series, still sharply honed, none the worse for wear.”

Janet Maslin, New York Times

About the Author

Martin Cruz Smith’s novels include Tatiana, Stalin’s Ghost, Gorky Park, Rose, December 6, Polar Star, and Stallion Gate. A two-time winner of the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers and a recipient of Britain’s Golden Dagger Award, he lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kotter on Aug. 21 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should preface this review by stating I am a longtime Arkadi Renko fan. I have walked the streets of Havana with a copy of Havana Bay in my backpack. I have read Polar Star so often I have the dialogue memorized. That being said, I was very disappointed with this effort. It has the feeling of being ghost written. The sardonic dry wit is gone as is the snappy dialogue. The book was a brief 3 hour read with none of the interesting plot growth of the other books. All in all it felt like a book Smith felt obligated to write and not driven to right. It's time to retire Renko or put some more effort into the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith on Sept. 18 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the seventh novel to feature Arkady Renko, a series which began in 1981 with `Gorky Park'. Renko was a young officer on the way up in `Gorky Park', in `Three Stations' he is on the way down. Technically, Renko has been suspended from the prosecutor's office and is about to be forced out by superiors uncomfortable with the way in which he continues to inconveniently solve cases and bring the guilty to account.

The novel opens with Maya, a teenage mother, travelling to Moscow by train. Maya is fleeing from the past and is looking for a better life for her and her baby. Maya is rescued from a soldier by an older woman - but then awakens in the Three Stations train station at the Komsomol Square deprived of both her daughter and her possessions. Zhenya, the fifteen year old orphan previously rescued by Renko (`Wolves Eat Dogs'), tries to help her.

At the same time, Renko is helping Victor Orlov investigate a suspicious death in a derelict trailer in another area of Three Stations. It seems that the dead woman is a prostitute and most likely dead of a drug overdose. This, for his superiors, is enough to rule out homicide. Renko does not agree and his subsequent investigations, even after he is fired, reveal a complex case.

I read this novel in one sitting, caught up in Smith's vivid and gritty description of a corrupt and dysfunctional Moscow. The dual storylines: Renko trying to solve a murder; and Zhenya and Maya searching for baby Katya showcase the contrasts in a Moscow where gangs of homeless children co-exist together with the corruptly wealthy who can buy anything - including children - for a price.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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By Steve R on Dec 26 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really love the experience of reading Smith's Arkady Renko novels, which I have read multiple times. I have traveled to Moscow and Russia many times and have a strong affinity for the country. I can really identify with Smith's portrayal of settings and characters, and would truly love to see all of his Renko books turned into movies, including a remake of Gorky Park, with Russian actors.

But I have to completely agree with the review by kotter49 of this latest Renko novel - Three Stations. The spark and tension of the previous books were missing. It felt like it was written by a ghost writer instead of by Smith, or if it was written by Smith, then he has become tired of keeping this character alive. The elements of a good story were there, but the execution was far below my expectations. If you are a die-hard Renko fan as I am, you will be disappointed with this one, like sitting down to enjoy a great meal, and instead of a delicious spread being served a cheese sandwich.
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By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 9 2010
Format: Hardcover
The new Russia is an enigma. The chaos, the overnight billionaires, the homeless, the destitute, old bureaucrats and the hopefuls. How a country once dedicated to the communist ideals of egalitarianism could so suddenly become the opposite is amazing. A murder mystery isn't going to provide an answer but it can give us an insight into how the Russian people are attempting to deal with this new reality and the Arkadi Renko novels certainly help to do that. In 'Three Stations,' a serial killer is on the loose and our hero chooses truth over pragmatism and his career. The three stations are three railway stations that converge in central Moscow. We learn about the people who must survive within their confines and the people who become trapped on the way through. Fortunately, Mr. Cruz provides a happy ending to an otherwise miserable existence.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Overall a good, brief story. I like Cruz Smith's work though there can be a tendency to go on a bit longer than necessary but not here. Right on the money for the most part though one of the central characters gets kind of sidelined toward the end and isn't dealt with effectively (no, I don't mean murdered!).
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