Stalin's Ghost

  • by Martin Cruz Smith
  • Narrated by Ron McLarty
  • 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Investigator Arkady Renko, the pariah of the Moscow prosecutor's office, has been assigned the thankless job of investigating a new phenomenon: late-night subway riders report seeing the ghost of Joseph Stalin on the platform of the Chistye Prudy Metro station. The illusion seems part political hocus-pocus and part wishful thinking, for among many Russians Stalin is again popular - the bloody dictator can boast a two-to-one approval rating. That's decidedly better than that of Renko, whose lover, Eva, has left him for Detective Nikolai Isakov, a charismatic veteran of the civil war in Chechnya, a hero of the far right and, Renko suspects, a killer for hire. The cases entwine, and Renko's quests become a personal inquiry fueled by jealousy. The investigation leads to the fields of Tver outside of Moscow, where once a million soldiers fought. There, amidst the detritus, Renko must confront the ghost of his own father, a favorite general of Stalin's. In these barren fields, patriots and shady entrepreneurs, the Red Diggers and Black Diggers, collect the bones, weapons, and personal effects of slain World War II soldiers, and find that even among the dead there are surprises.

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What the Critics Say

"Smith eschews vertiginous twists and surprises, concentrating instead on Renko as he slowly and patiently builds his case until the pieces fall together and he has again, if not exactly triumphed, at least survived. This masterful suspense novel casts a searing light on contemporary Russia." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointed in the recorded book

I don't think Martin Cruz Smith is capable of writing a bad book. But between the abridgement and the narrator's inability to pronounce Arkady, I really hated this one. I couldn't wait for it to be over, For me, all the quirky magic of his writing was obliterated by a very poor production. His books aren't that long. Could it not have been unabridged and ready by someone else?
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- Susan

Good Book, Bad Reader

I really have a problem with the narrator of an audiobook mispronounces words. In the case of this book, the mispronunciation happens to be the name of the protagonist, Arkady Renko, so you get to hear it every other line or so! It's ar-KAD-ee. It is most definitely not ARK-a-dee. You'd think the producer would get the simple things right, but I guess that's asking too much. I can't believe that Martin Cruz Smith actually listened to this recording.
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- carl801

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio