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Death of a Dissident (An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Mystery)
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Death of a Dissident (Porfiry Rostnikov #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  376 ratings  ·  23 reviews
On the eve of a show trial, a Soviet dissident is stabbed through the heart

On a frigid night in silent Moscow, Aleksander Granovsky paces the floor of his government flat. He has dedicated his life to exposing the brutality of the Russian penal system, and in two days he will be tried for the crime of smuggling essays to the West. Granovsky is drafting a speech to deliver
ebook, 226 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by Road (first published 1981)
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I've read most of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series (Gorky Park, Polar Star, etc.) and I hope Kaminsky's books give as good a picture of the hopeless situation Soviet-era police found themselves in. I've read a couple of Kaminsky's Toby Peters books (Murder on the Yellow Brick Road and, I think, He Done Her Wrong) and enjoyed them.

*After reading*
This was a pretty good book, and did a good job of showing what the Soviet Union was like toward its last days - the tendency of many to just give
My formative educational years were during the Cold War. School were replete with doctrinaire rants about the evils of the Soviet Union, television and Hollywood added to the hype and I can distinctly remember seeing black and white TV sets in store windows broadcasting the McCarthy hearings. Looking back, it's apparent that "brainwashing" occurred on both sides of the world (and a lot in-between) The austerity of Stuart Kaminsky's Moscow is prevalent from the beginning of the novel to its very ...more
Clearwater Public Library Staff Picks
The main character of this series, Inspector Rostnikov, is the most adorable Russian detective ever. You will end up loving him and his family, because Stuart Kaminsky makes them so real and accessible. My only regret is that Mr. Kaminsky has passed away and will not be writing this amazing and wonderful series any longer. It's a great view into life in Communist Russia and what that means for it's people and it's criminals!
The Inspector Rostnikov novels start in the waning years of the Soviet Union with “Death of a Dissident” and follow the main characters through the transition to a post-communist society. Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov (who shares his first and middle names with the police inspector in “Crime and Punishment”) leads a group of police detectives slogging through murders, robberies, arsons and the like, while dodging the political ambitions of the higher-ups and working within a broken system as best ...more
Sarah Messick-Milone
Books later in the series got higher ratings, but I'm a stickler for starting a series at the beginning whenever possible. This was ok, but pretty underwhelming. I think it's funny that in the introduction to the edition I read the author mentions that Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith came out at the same time as this and heavily implies it overshadowed his own work. He writes that it was clear Gorky Park was a very different book. I guffawed aloud thinking, "Right! A really good one!" Still with ...more
I've not read any of this series in at least 10 years. This being #1 in the Rostnikov series I guess it's been at least 20 years. Long enough that it was like reading it for the first time, except knowing the main characters. Great book and great series!
While touring in Patagonia, Dan from Fairbanks passed on this murder mystery set in 1970's Moscow. A quick entertaining read, mostly of historical interest to me for its Party politics vs. police work objectives.
Otto Penzler
Death of a Dissident is the first book in Stuart Kaminsky’s Edgar Award-winning series about Moscow police detective Inspector Rostnikov series. Praised for its accurate depiction of Soviet life, Kaminsky’s novels describing the climate of Soviet Russia, with the ever-lurking threat of the KGB, are all the more chilling for their accuracy. Beyond its historical appeal, Death of a Dissident is a taut thriller featuring Rostnikov’s attempt to track down a killer while dealing with a very corrupt p ...more
I was disappointed in this book. I studied Russian language and literature in college, and I love reading books that take place in Russia. I had a few problems with this book - first, it felt like the author was trying too hard to make the book seem "Russian" by trying to adopt typical Russian style. This served to make it obvious that the book was written by someone who didn't grow up in Russia. However, the biggest problem I had with the book was that I felt little to no suspense throughout th ...more
Chris Nordensson
Possesses actual literary elements. Rostnikov is one of my favorite series characters.
Michael Jak
Fascinating character studies and setting for a murder mystery. I really liked Rostnikov, the main character. Nothing like an affection for the main character to pull you into a story. The descriptions of Soviet Russian era Moscow were vividly colorless-if that is possible. If it was Cold War brainwashing that painted this picture of the USSR in my juvenile mind and the book simply seemed to verify it or a fairly accurate firsthand knowledge by Kaminsky, I don't know. At any rate, it was very co ...more
A quick read with an interesting angle on police work. Solid, but not outstanding. Worth the time it takes.
I was not sure what to expect. I had heard a lot of good things about this series. I was worried it would be dated, overrated, and a bit boring. However, this novel was really good. I am glad I chose to read it and wish I could continue on in the series - if only I had book 2!! The depictions of Soviet Russia are not overdone or tedious. I recommend for fans of Russia, mysteries, and detectives.
I've read this series several times (I was frankly rather annoyed at Kaminsky for dying before he tied up all the loose ends after 14 or 15 books....). I loved watching how the backdrop of these stories changed as the USSR evolved and then fell apart, and how the characters coped, or didn't cope, with their changing reality. Plus, just good fun.
This is the second time I have read this book. (Yes, this series is that good). Unfortunately, Stuart Kaminsky passed away and I love the cast of characters in his Rostinkov series. So, I decided I would re-read the series. Hey, when the characters are this good, it's like catching up with old friends!
Since I'm presently engrossed with Russian history I thought that some mysteries that had a "Russian" them might be fun. I'm already looking forward to my second book in the series. The inspector is an appealing character.
Vikas Datta
Brooding, atmospheric mystery... well, it begins as a mystery before the services work their way in and work their machinations... Captures Soviet life very well and has a few very singular characters..
Jason Reeser
It took me a little while to get into this but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I like the style and the characters; the plot was okay. I will be reading more in the series. It has great potential.
Jennifer Bucholtz
I was really excited to read this book but felt a bit let down. It just did not grab my attention as I expected.
Although overlong and plodding at times, the underlying story of spying and assassination is fascinating.
Jun 12, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, russia
06/11/08 purchase from Decatur Library used books
Graham Mackinven
Graham Mackinven marked it as to-read
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2007.

Stuart M. Kaminsky is author of 50 published novels, 5 biographies, 4 textbooks and 35 short stories. He also has screenwriting credits on four produced films including ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, ENEMY TERRITORY, A WOMAN IN THE WIND and HIDDEN FEARS. He is a past president of the Mystery Writers of America and has been nomi
More about Stuart M. Kaminsky...

Other Books in the Series

Porfiry Rostnikov (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Black Knight in Red Square (Porfiry Rostnikov, #2)
  • Red Chameleon (Porfiry Rostnikov, #3)
  • A Fine Red Rain (Porfiry Rostnikov, #4)
  • A Cold Red Sunrise (Porfiry Rostnikov, #5)
  • The Man Who Walked Like a Bear (Porfiry Rostnikov, #6)
  • Rostnikov's Vacation (Porfiry Rostnikov, #7)
  • Death of a Russian Priest (Porfiry Rostnikov, #8)
  • Hard Currency (Porfiry Rostnikov, #9)
  • Blood and Rubles (Porfiry Rostnikov, #10)
  • Tarnished Icons (Porfiry Rostnikov, #11)
A Cold Red Sunrise (Porfiry Rostnikov, #5) Dead of Winter (CSI: New York, #1) Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (Toby Peters, #2) Bullet for a Star (Toby Peters, #1) The Man Who Walked Like a Bear (Porfiry Rostnikov, #6)

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