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Wolves Eat Dogs Paperback – 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pan (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330435868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330435864
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #938,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 6 2008
Format: Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith's work continues to transcend the mystery genre into social commentary on the state of Russia and the Ukraine in this unusual and unexpected story about politics, nuclear science and the rise of the new Russian capitalists. As usual, our "neutral" observer is investigator Arkady Renko who continues on his lonely path seeking truth while others prefer lies.

As the book opens, a billionaire, Pasha Ivanov, is found dead at the base of his condo's building. Did he jump . . . or was he pushed? Those are the main choices for Arkady . . . until he's ordered off the case.

But Arkady's not satisfied that it's a suicide. Why was Ivanov's closet full of salt?

Winning a reprieve for his investigation from an unexpected source, Arkady finds himself in the middle of the "dead" zone near the site of the Chernobyl (spelled as Chornobyl by those in the Ukraine) disaster. You'll feel like your visiting a world imagined by Dante as you follow his slow "investigation."

The resolution of the story's plot will leave you shaking your head a bit . . . but you will find the trip to be an intriguing one that's well worth your time.

I was especially fascinated by the psychology described for those who lived through the aftermath of the nuclear disaster and continue to live in the vicinity. It's gritty material that will remind you of stories you've read about surviving in tough prisons and concentration camps. The story will unforgettably drive home the message that we'd better take care of the environment.
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Format: Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Red Square" is his fifth novel - a series that began with "Gorky Park" - to feature Arkady Renko and was first published in 2004.

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 has been rehabilitated for several years now, though he always remained something of a disappointment to his father - a very famous ex-General. His father has been dead for some time, something Arkady never seemed too bothereed about. However, he hasn't yet entirely gotten over the death of his wife, Irina.

Pasha Ivanov was one of the 'new' Russia's most successful businessmen - President of NoviRus and worth an absolute fortune. However, the businessman has - it would appear - jumped to his death through his apartment window. The book opens in the apartment, with Arkady peering through the window towards the corpse on the pavement. Among those also present are Prosecutor Zurin (Arkady's boss), Bobby Hoffman (Ivanov's American assistant) and Lev Timofeyev - an old friend of Ivanov's and a Senior Vice-President at NoviRus. The pair had studied together at the Institute, and were two particular favourites of the noted Academican Gerasimov.
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Format: Audio CD
I have always enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith's books, especially the Arkardy Renko stories and this one is no exception. I read and enjoyed the book before I listened to the audio version. My advice to those who want to listen to it is - don't. I don't know why Simon & Schuster did not ask Stephen Lang to do the reading. He read Havana Bay and to my mind is the definitive voice of these books - to the extent that when I re read Havana Bay, his is the voice I hear. Not so with this reading, the pronunciation tends to be sloppy, he pronounces "Arkady" with the emphasis on the wrong syllable. It is very irritating and gets in the way of the story. A good reading adds something to the story. A bad one is a barrier.

So, enjoy the book and leave the audio version. This story focuses on the events at Chernobyl both at the time of the meltdown and the subsequent fallout (no pun intended). Arkady, as usual is at odds with his superiors and is sent off to Chernobyl mainly to get rid of him. Being Arkady though he will get to the bottom of the mystery whatever the odds and it is all resolved in a satisfactory fashion. The area around Chernobyl seems to be benefiting from the absence of people and is a fascinating background to the story. I would give it five stars if the audio version was worth listening to.
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By Derik Hodgson on March 18 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a solid return of a master. If you thought Cruz faltered in his last outing this will make your nights longer and better. It is a stay-up late noir thriller. The melancholy Russian investigator struggles against an oppressive and corrupt bureaucracy while dealing with the mystery of a suicide perhaps murder in the midst of the living hell that is today's Chernobyl. In the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster where the dead and the dying are seperated by inches and an ever ticking dosimeter measuring radiation the plodding but true Renko doesn't deviate.

This is a mystery for today--shocking in that it was written before the murder/assassination in London of a former Russian agant--and a foreshadowing of a bleak world or tomorrow. Worth a good look and a read.
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