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Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
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Stealthy Police Procedural set in Moscow prior to Perestroika and Dissolution of U.S.S.R.

Back in the U.S.S.R.:
Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my mind
Lennon-McCartney, 1968

****
Arkady Renko is chief homicide investigator for Moscow's Soviet militsiya (the city's civilian police force). When investigating the murder of three American college students found frozen in the snow of Gorky Park, faces and fingers removed, Renko faces resistance from the KGB, FBI and NYC police.

Renko is intelligent, moody, cynical and at times defiant in his dogged pursuit of the killer's identity, which puts him at odds with a brash, wealthy American fur trader. The detective's weakness is his love, of course, for a beautiful Soviet dissident who'll do nearly anything to get out of the USSR.

What sets this suspenseful 1981 novel apart is Martin Cruz Smith's meticulous portrayal, in vivid and stunning detail, of day-to-day life in the Soviet Union prior to perestroika and the Soviet Union's dissolution.

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Reading Progress

September 20, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

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