When is Martin Cruz Smith going to give us Arkady Renko in post-Communist Russia?

I enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith’s literary portrayals of life in the Soviet Union in Gorky Park, Polar Star, and Red Square. The last ended with the failed coup that led to the collapse of the Communist system. Arkady Renko was a Moscow Militia (police) detective whose character was, essentially, the Honest Man Struggling to Do the Right Thing Within a Corrupt System. I was really looking forward to seeing what Smith would do with Renko in a **post-**Communist Russia – I really haven’t encountered any good literary accounts of life in Russia in the past ten years.

But instead, when he came out with another Renko novel, Havana Bay, it was set in one of the remaining Communist states, Castro’s Cuba. I think this shows failure of creativity. We’ve had enough “Communism is bad” books. Let’s have a look at life after Communism! How are the Russians adjusting to it? Surely there’s plenty going on in contemporary Moscow to keep a police detective busy!

Has anybody read or heard of Smith making any statements relevant to this?

I’ve not heard anything on this, but I don’t agree that Havana Bay lacked creativity. I thought it was just a way to open up a new venue. Maybe Arkady could show up next in war torn Iraq on the presumption of tracking down Russian contracts with the former Saddam regime but become embroiled in the Abu Ghraib case on loan to whoever is investigating instead. He can duck plots from Neocons to discredit him, etc.

Has Smith put out any other books recently?

Well, until M.C. Smith delivers, you might enjoy the made-for-HBO (but widely available on DVD) Citizen X. Highly enjoyable and based on a true crime story over a period spanning the last years of Soviet Communism, through Glastnost.

Yes: December 6 (Pocket Star Books, 2003), about an American living in Tokyo on the eve of WWII; and Rose (Ballantine Books, 2000) a detective story set in northern industrial England in 1872.

And guess what! The same amazon.com search I ran to find the above two titles also lists a forthcoming Arkady Renko novel! (It wasn’t there yesterday!) It’s called Wolves Eat Dogs and it’s coming out November 9, 2004, by Simon & Schuster. But the blurb says nothing about what this book is about, or where it’s set. Has anybody heard anything?

According to a blurb

That’s from here, btw, but you need to give them your e-mail to read it


Nothing left to say except *December 6 * blew me away, very good book and that I will (not quite but almost) sleep overnight 11/8 to 11/9 at Borders to get another Arkady Renko book! Thanks Captain. Thanks Brainglutton.

Wolves Eat Dogs come out Nov. 16! :slight_smile:

Sorry, that’s http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684872544/qid=1099520194/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/102-1604192-4016912