Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wolves Eat Dogs - Book Review

Next in line for me on my Martin Cruz Smith reading list was Wolves Eat Dogs, another Arkady Renko novel though this one is the installment before Stalin's Ghost. More great stuff. The mystery? A New Russian billionaire has committed suicide which in Old Russia, and, apparently, the New, means someone else killed him. The trail takes Renko to the no-man's land of Chernobyl and here Smith transports us, once again, to another strange world. As if Russia isn't strange enough.

Some of the characters in the Stalin make their first appearance here so that helps shed a little light on the subsequent novel. The characters names confuse me, of course, and I had a little trouble keeping them straight; I often do with mystery novels and that can be a problem - wasn't this guy the other guy who did one thing or the other? - and the Russian names only compounds the problem. But I buckled in for the ride and everything finally made sense. If Smith's research is accurate, the incidents leading up to the Chernobyl accident, its aftermath and the nether-world that's risen from the ashes, are weird and fascinating. A perfect setting for a mystery.

Another very good installment in a very good series.

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