Friday, August 15, 2008

Last night I finished Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith, the latest Arkady Renko novel.

I wrote about the previous novel, Wolves Eat Dogs, here. One of the hallmarks of the series is the horrible situations Renko puts up with, from being banished to work on an Arctic fishing trawler to having to work in the Chernobyl hot zone, and Stalin's Ghost doesn't disappoint. Renko has his closest encounters with getting killed while investigating sightings of Stalin in the subway.

Once again, Smith does an excellent job of taking advantage of Russia's turbulent recent history. In this case, it is the war with Chechnya, and it's aftermath. It makes me curious to see if we will see a Renko novel in a few years set in relation to the current Georgian situation.

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