Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”


Avid Reader’s thoughts

Set in Moscow this is a tale surrounding some of the down and outs of the city. Drugs, murder, bribery and corruption written in a staccato style that emphasises the conditions and lives of the people involved as Arkady Renko investigates his next case.

Book Description.

A passenger train hurting through the night. An unwed teenage mother headed to Moscow to seek a new life. A cruel-hearted soldier looking furtively, forcibly, for sex. An infant disappearing without a trace.

So begins Martin Cruz Smith’s masterful Three Stations, a suspenseful, intricately constructed novel featuring Investigator Arkady Renko. For the last three decades, beginning with the trailblazing Gorky Park, Renko (and Smith) have captivated readers with detective tales set in Russia. Renko is the ironic, brilliantly observant cop who finds solutions to heinous crimes when other lawmen refuse to even acknowledge that crimes have occurred. He uses his biting humour and intuitive leaps to fight not only wrongdoers but the corrupt state apparatus as well.

In Three Stations, Renko’s skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor’s office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow’s main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone — except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues, most notably an invitation to Russia’s premier charity ball, the billionaires’ Nijinksy Fair. Thus a sordid death becomes interwoven with the lifestyles of Moscow’s rich and famous, many of whom are clinging to their cash in the face of Putin’s crackdown on the very oligarchs who placed him in power.

Renko uncovers a web of death, money, madness and a kidnapping that threatens the woman he is coming to love and the lives of children he is desperate to protect. In Three Stations, Smith produces a complex and haunting vision of an emergent Russia’s secret underclass of street urchins, greedy thugs and a bureaucracy still paralyzed by power and fear.

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Moscow Bound By Adrian Churchward

Moscow BoundMoscow Bound by Adrian Churchward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Moscow bound is a mystery set in and around Moscow in 2013. It begins with a murder of a lone man. The rest of the tale is spread over a time period of just over a week, filled with plenty of action. We meet Scott Mitchell, a human rights lawyer who has just won a case in the European courts against the Russian military.

Scott bravely returns to Moscow where he works, but he’s upset a powerful enemy and his return to Russia is not an easy one. The publicity he has gained sends a new client to him. Ekaterina Romanova is searching for her father who has been held captive without trial for many years. She only has one thread of a trail to start their search but when they get caught on camera at the scene of a crime more than one set of people want to know more about them.

Is Ekaterina telling Scott the truth? What is she not telling him? Why is General Pravda interested in their search and just who can you trust in a country which often shoots first and asks questions later? As the Russian people embrace some of their newer freedom, the old men who ruled with iron fists are dying off, but fighting within still exists and will anyone in Russia ever learn to trust again? There are many twists and turns in the book which kept me glued to the pages to find out just who or what is drawn Moscow Bound.

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Find out more about Adrian and his book in this post from our Mystery November book tour.