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Wolves Eat Dogs
Martin Cruz Smith
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Wolves Eat Dogs (Arkady Renko #5)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  3,013 ratings  ·  217 reviews
In Wolves Eat Dogs, Renko returns for his most enigmatic and baffling case: the death of one of Russia's new billionaires, which leads him to Chernobyl and the Zone of Exclusion -- closed to the world since 1986's nuclear disaster. It is still aglow with radioactivity, now inhabited only by the militia, shady scavengers, a few reckless scientists, and some elderly peasants ...more
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Published December 1st 2004 by Recorded Books (first published 2004)
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Mal Warwick
Over the years, I made two trips to the Soviet Union. The first time was in 1965, in the course of a four-month knockabout through the USSR, Eastern and Central Europe, and Scandinavia before my Peace Corps service started. (That was the trip during which I was threatened by East German Vopos (Volkspolizei) at Hitler’s bunker and briefly confined under gunpoint in a Romanian secret prison.) My second, less harrowing trip, came in 1989 as a member of a delegation organized by one of my nonprofit ...more
Aug 14, 2008 Carla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like good writing
Shelves: best-writing
I'm a Martin Cruz Smith fan. He doesn't fit easily into categories. Yes, his books are mysteries, in the sense there's a crime, but they're literature because they examine universal human longings, motives, desires, those of the detective as well as the people he meets on his way to solving the crime.
Wolves eats dogs explores the blasted landscape of the exclusion zone around Chernoble, where people not only are still living, but they are surprisingly populous. There are scientists and old peopl
Dec 01, 2009 Bruce rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of nuclear history, Arkady Renko, or Gorky Park
I find detective novels, especially mysteries, a tough genre to review. On the one hand, you want to avoid spoilers so as not to spoil the fun. On the other, you still want to provide enough information to give prospective readers a reasonable sense of what to expect. I think there are no spoilers here, but then I think it's always fair game to identify the book's protagonist, setting, style (tone), principal plot (that is, what the detective is originally instructed to solve), and my overall im ...more
Cruz Smith has a way with words. A very heady, intoxicating way. As a matter of fact he's having his way with me right now.

I'm reading the gritty yet dream-like Wolves Eat Dogs. It's unlike other crime fiction on the market. Too many books in this genre fall prey to "galloping gore". Thrillers that provide a series of ever-escalating shocks all the while ratcheting up the pace. So much rush-rush designed to obscure the truly bad writing. I mostly avoid those shelves at the bookshop.

But I was stu
I've read all the Arkady Renko books and I have to say that this (along with Polar Star) has got to be my favorite. I'm a big fan of the Arkady Renko character although I never thought that I would be at first. I thought I would get tired of an endlessly pessimistic, self-defeatist character like Renko but he just keeps getting better every time. I love the fact that he always expects the worst, never expects to win, seems to have a death wish, and yet always solves the case in the end. I also l ...more
Ted Cross
I really love the Arkady Renko books. I hadn't realized there are eight of them now, so I decided to re-read the entire series (though out of order since some of them haven't arrived in the mail yet). Arkady never changes, or at least if he does it is only in tiny ways. And that's part of what I like about him. He's a morose, hangdog, gloomy guy, but he's the one truly honest man in Russia and he lets nothing stop him, regardless of the odds stacked against him, from resolving his cases.

Part of
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Certo non siamo più ai fasti di Gorky Park e neanche di Stella Polare, ma l'ho preferito al mediocre Havana. Torna Arkady Renko, il mio investigatore preferito, è ancora cinico, a modo suo sovversivo, brillante e malinconico. la società intorno a lui è completamente cambiata rispetto alla vecchia URSS, e questo è certamente un bene, ma Renko non riesce ad adattarsi alla nuova Russia, nella quale dilagano la segretezza, la corruzione e la violenza proprio come ai vecchi tempi. I casi del detectiv ...more
I surprised myself by being really engaged in it. I don’t usually read detective stories or thrillers, but the setting really sucked me in into this one. A big part of the story is set in contemporary Chernobyl- the site of the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster, or more precisely in the Zone of Exclusion, which is bigger than Chernobyl itself, abandoned and guarded by militia. Due to still exorbitantly high radiation levels the place is inhabited only by a handful of scientists, crooks and a cou ...more
Hugh Ashton
I prefer Polar Star and Red Square by the same author, but that doesn't mean to say this is bad, by any stretch of the imagination.

Renko is an interesting enough character, but I think I preferred him as a rebel against the CPSU, rather than against Putin's New Russia. Although he is in different surroundings, I am not convinced he has changed much from the investigator of the last years of the USSR. The motives of a couple of the villains are a little unclear, as well.

The part of the book with

Dean Hamilton
Cynical, melancholy Moscow special investigator Arkardy Renko has a serious problem. One of Moscow's newly minted billionaires has taken a fatal plunge off of a twenty-story condominium - suicide or murder? As Renko dryly observes "We prefer suicides. Suicides don't demand work, or drive up the crime rate."

In his fifth book featuring his laconic, down-trodden detective, Martin Cruz Smith is at the top of his game. Wolves Eat Dogs takes Renko, filling his role as Moscow's most dogged and quixotic
Ed Mestre
Another in the Arkady Renko mysteries who first appeared in Gorky Park. Much has changed in Russia since the Gorky Park days. For one the Soviet Union has broken apart. For him to go to Chernobyl in the Ukraine he must now travel to another country. The new economy has created billionaires & the disparity the October revolution sought to eliminate. For example while still in Moscow he spots a billboard advertisement where there used to be Communist propaganda. He describes it like on a stree ...more
Martin Cruz Smith's novels are so filled with darkness it is always with great effort that I read them. And yet I have been captivated by his depressed Russian sleuth Arkady Renko ever since "Gorky Park". So it stands to reason that I'd put myself through another of Cruz's dense, convoluted, heart-wrenchingly bleak accounts of Renko's doings.

"Wolves Eat Dogs" is set in the still-glowing horror of post-meltdown Chernobyl where Renko investigates the murder of a prominent "New Russian" that closel
Rossrn Nunamaker
Wolves Eat Dogs is the fifth Arkady Renko novel by Martin Cruz Smith.

In Wolves Eat Dogs, a new Russian Billionaire is found dead having plunged from the window of his apartment. On the scene it is quickly confirmed to be a suicide - no investigation required. Renko's observations and questions quickly point out that there are enough oddities to merit some investigation and from the get go Renko is once again not quite following orders.

New in this novel is Zhenya, a boy from an orphanage that Ark
I really enjoyed this one from start to finish.

“Smith's first Arkady Renko novel, Gorky Park, became a best seller because it offered American readers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at a world closed off to them. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, it would seem that Smith had nothing left to write about. But as he proved with Red Square and Havana Bay, the new Russia offers a rich source of material (and crimes). This time cynical but honest senior investigator Renko must deter
Splendid. I read Gorky Park, but not the two (three?) between that and this. I remember liking Gorky Park, and Wolves Eat Dogs reminds me why. Low-key, pessimistic Arkady Renko is a great character -- and the addition of a boy from an orphanage that Renko takes out once a week gives us more facets of Renko to appreciate. (Yes, that was a really bad sentence I just wrote.) I love Renko's dogged and constant asking of questions. And Martin Cruz Smith populates the book with secondary characters wo ...more
I'm a fan of MCS and the Arkady Renko series. Smith is an adroitly intelligent writer, one who makes you feel as though you're hearing the story from someone who has lived all his life in the USSR/Russia and someone who knows where all the bodies are buried. I found the background on Chernobyl horrifying and fascinating, and I liked the spiked humor in the relationship between Renko and the silent child he fitfully attempts to mentor. This is the thinking reader's character-driven procedural nov ...more
I enjoyed this less than the other Renko I read, which was a quick read blast. This, I had issues with.

I am always suspicious of books that have certain reviewers, invariably from left of centre sections of the press, referring them as "literary thrillers", that strange oxymoronic phrase that means nothing.

This novel actually has all the features of "pulp". Yes, it has the on the surface intriguing set up, of an investigation in the Zone of Alienation surrounding Chernobyl, and principally the a
Gregg Bell
Okay, the cold war over, you think Cruz is out of stuff to write about. Un-uh! This book takes you into the heart of the confusion that is Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It takes place on the land where the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred. Fantastic writing, compelling story and by the time you're done, you'll look and see your skin glowing a little from the radiation you absorbed while reading. :) Cruz happens to write in genre but he is just a great writer.
I picked this book recording up at the library because I had heard of Martin Cruz Smith, but had never read any of his books. I glanced at the back of the container and read the investigation of what appears to be a suicide leads the detective to the Zone of Exclusion, the area around the abandoned nuclear power plant, Chernobyl. I was hooked because I find that place very interesting and had yet to read any fiction based there.

I was not disappointed. The police detective, Arkady Renko, who app
I appreciate the setting, the characters, and the tale. The bulk of this book is set in the Ukraine and deals with the impact of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power disaster on people's lives in the small towns near the accident. Assigning blame for the accident becomes part of the tale. A subtext is Arkady Renko's experience with a young boy abandoned in Moscow by his father.
Renko tackles fallout in this one, both of the literal and emotional kind, with powerful results. I'll say, though, that I heartily recommend Atlas Obscura as a companion piece to this one - the link will take you to photos of this book's setting, and the site more broadly is pretty cool too.
Susan Swansburg
I found this book too easy to put down. Neither the story nor the characters excited me. There were moments, but too much "meh" in between. It's been more than a dozen years since I last read a Martin Cruz Smith novel, and it could easily be a dozen before I do so again.
Wolves eat dogs the title say, but the book reveals that dogs eat wolves, from time to time. In fact there is wholesale destruction in this novel set in Moscow and primarily in the region of of the epic Soviet nuclear disaster. The story begins with a death possibly by suicide but further investigation reveals that Chernobyl played a role in the death and that of many others by story's end. And then there are the walking deaths of those who stubbornly cling to life in the radioactive region, not ...more
A page turner that takes place in post-meltdown Chernobyl. Fascinating just because of that, but does have a cool plot of some sort overlaid onto it, although I forget what it was completely.
M.H. Vesseur
Within the crime genre, I believe Martin Cruz Smith plays in a league of his own. His Arkady Renko series once kicked off with the now-famous "Gorky Park", an exciting tale of murder within the once powerful nomenklatura of the USSR. Renko returned in several other novels, a reluctant detective, too focussed on asking questions to ever relax, and too attracted to people on the low side of life, criminals, women or even an orphan. All of this drenched with a touch of Russian life that makes his n ...more
Is a pretty good book sounds interesting since the begining but gets more interesting after chapter5. I will not put any spoilers, so do not worry... I did not read Gorky Park or any of the other books with Arkady Renko, as a matter of fact i never read Martin Cruz Smith before, but I like it the narrative, also the story is very impressive, Cruz Smith details the story of Chernobyl and it´s survivors in such a way that make your spine shiver sometimes, the books gives you fiction and a glimpse ...more
This is the 5th novel in the Arkady Renko series that started with Gorky Park and is the first one of the series that I have read. Set in Russia, Arkady is a police detective sent to investigate a possible homicide/suicide. The apparent suicide victim is a rich businessman, formerly a physicist. Arkady finds that he jumped with a salt shaker, discovers large quantities of salt in the man's closet, and finds some bloody handprints, and these curious facts leads him on a complex, convoluted journe ...more
Althea Ann
I just really love Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko spy thrillers. I like his other books too, but there's just something about these... I was really sad that after I read this book, there'd be no more that I hadn't read... and then I went online, and there's a new one out due next month! Yay! "Stalin's Ghost" is now on my wishlist...

In "Wolves Eat Dogs," the fifth in the series, investigator Renko is at the scene of the death of a prominent Russian businessman, who appears to have leaped out his windo
What would cause a privileged member of Russia's new billionaire class, one of the fabled "New Russians," to leap to his death from the palatial splendor of his ultra-modern Moscow condominium? And what on earth does the mound of salt on his closet floor mean? And the salt shaker that he took with him on his leap? And why do the dosimeters go crazy when they are brought near that mysterious mound of salt? These are some of the questions Arkady Renko must answer in Wolves Eat Dogs.

The question of
Nick Sweeney
Another in Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series. In case you don't know him, he was the main character in MCS's Gorky Park, the book that brought the author to prominence. Renko is a police inspector in the Moscow force, and has lasted through from Soviet times to the post-Glasnost gangster-haunted world of what is recognisably a more modern Moscow: it's as grimy and ugly and brutal as ever, and the feeling you get in the post-Glasnost novels is that life has not changed much for the ordinary ...more
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AKA Simon Quinn, Nick Carter.

Martin Cruz Smith (born Martin William Smith), American novelist, received his BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He worked as a journalist from 1965 to 1969 before turning his hand to fiction. His first mystery (Gypsy in Amber – 1971) features NY gypsy art dealer Roman Grey and was nominated for an Edgar Award. Nightwing was his breakt
More about Martin Cruz Smith...
Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1) Polar Star (Arkady Renko, #2) Red Square (Arkady Renko, #3) Havana Bay (Arkady Renko, #4) Three Stations (Arkady Renko, #7)

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