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Three Stations: An Arkady Renko Novel [Paperback]

Martin Cruz Smith
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Sept. 6 2011 Arkady Renko Novels

A passenger train hurtling through the night. An unwed teenage mother headed to Moscow to seek a new life. A cruel-hearted soldier looking furtively, forcibly, for sex. An infant disappearing without a trace.

So begins Martin Cruz Smith’s masterful Three Stations, a suspenseful, intricately constructed novel featuring Investigator Arkady Renko. For the last three decades, beginning with the trailblazing Gorky Park, Renko (and Smith) have captivated readers with detective tales set in Russia. Renko is the ironic, brilliantly observant cop who finds solutions to heinous crimes when other lawmen refuse to even acknowledge that crimes have occurred. He uses his biting humor and intuitive leaps to fight not only wrongdoers but the corrupt state apparatus as well.

In Three Stations, Renko’s skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor’s office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow’s main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone—except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues, most notably an invitation to Russia’s premier charity ball, the billionaires’ Nijinksy Fair. Thus a sordid death becomes interwoven with the lifestyles of Moscow’s rich and famous, many of whom are clinging to their cash in the face of Putin’s crackdown on the very oligarchs who placed him in power.

Renko uncovers a web of death, money, madness and a kidnapping that threatens the woman he is coming to love and the lives of children he is desperate to protect. In Three Stations, Smith produces a complex and haunting vision of an emergent Russia’s secret underclass of street urchins, greedy thugs and a bureaucracy still paralyzed by power and fear.

 

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

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stations, Three Stars May 23 2014
By Kennzer
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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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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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Sad that Martin Crux Smith is slowing down and not publishing as much. That's life, nothing and nobody last forever.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." - Exodus 2:6

Martin Cruz Smith continually amazes me with the Investigator Arkady Renko novels. They all reek despair . . . but in totally different ways. Renko never seems to have been in a more untenable spot than in Three Stations due to his job being terminated. That doesn't seem to bother him. Renko still wants to exercise his special skill: finding the bad guys who do unspeakable things.

The book's settings are very powerful. If you have ever been in a large train station (such as Grand Central in New York City), you have probably wondered about whether people live in the tunnels underneath the station and what dramas are being played out on the trans that come and go. Mr. Smith beautifully draws on such speculations to weave a powerful tale of corruption and redemption.

You'll be moved, too, by the parts of the story that feature a young mother who is about to have an encounter on a train that she'll never forget.

I listened to the unabridged recording read by Ron McLarty and highly recommend this version if you like to listen to books.
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