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One of the iconic investigators of contemporary fiction, Arkady Renko - cynical, analytical, and quietly subversive - has survived the cultural journey from the Soviet Union to the New Russia, only to find the nation as obsessed with secrecy and brutality as was the old Communist dictatorship. In Tatiana, Martin Cruz Smith’s most ambitious novel since Gorky Park, the melancholy hero finds himself on the trail of a mystery as complex and dangerous as modern Russia herself.
The fearless investigative reporter Tatiana Petrovna falls to her death from a sixth-floor window in Moscow the same week that a mob billionaire, Grisha Grigorenko, is shot and buried with the trappings due a lord. No one makes the connection, but Arkady is transfixed by the tapes he discovers of Tatiana’s voice, even as she describes horrific crimes hidden by official versions.
The trail leads to Kaliningrad, a Cold War "secret city" and home of the Baltic Fleet, separated by hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia. Arkady delves into Tatiana’s past and a surreal world of wandering dunes and amber mines. His only link is a notebook written in the personal code of a translator whose body is found in the dunes. Arkady’s only hope of decoding the symbols lies in Zhenya, a teenage chess hustler.
More than a mystery, Tatiana is a story rich in character, black humor, and romance, with an insight that is the hallmark of Martin Cruz Smith.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rollin on 12-13-13
Interesting story but terrible narration
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A completely different narrator would be crucial.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I never finished the novel.
How could the performance have been better?
Henry Strozier narrates like a tired old man with a maddeningly slow pace and excessive emphasis on certain syllables.
Any additional comments?
I've enjoyed Martin Cruz Smith's novels in the past, but I'm afraid this experience has turned me off to him
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Doug on 01-24-15
Dead people won't stay dead....
In post-soviet Russia, nothing is what it seems...or is it? One thing that is clear and certain is that murder has taken no leave from the society....Arkady Renko finds himself trying to find a killer...or killers...and as usual the odds seem not in his favor. This novel is a fast-paced and satisfying mystery with an ending that fits the overall story...I liked Gorky Park better, but I was glad to visit Renko again....
3 of 3 people found this review helpful