Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith is my Kewaunee book club selection for April. I had never heard of it before, but when I was at my doctor's office, she said it was a "classic" mystery and was a good movie in the 80's with William Hurt in it. I didn't know!

I must admit, I had a really hard time getting into this book. I liked the first line "All nights should be so dark, all winters so warm, all headlights so dazzling," but I found myself bored amd somewhat depressed for the first 100 pages or so. It took me over a week to get that far - which is a long time in Laura reading time! After that, the story picked up for me and it became a page turner until the very end. If you chose to read this book - don't give up! The slow beginning eventually turns into a book that is really interesting and worth a good read.

The book was published in 1980 and is different from a book published during that time period in that the main character, Arkady Renko, is a Russian, and one of the villians is American. It still does not paint a very good picture of Russian society under communism during this time period. It was all corruption. People were not living equally. As Ben says, all communism changed was who was on the top!

This novel starts off with the murder of three people in Moscow's Gorky Park. The two men and one women are found with their ice skates on, but there faces and fingers missing in order to not be identified. As Cheif Investigator of the Homocide Department, Arkady Renko takes on the case. Arkady is having a rough patch in his life with marital woes and the realization that he can not advance further in his career without being more involved with "the party." The investigation becomes an obsession and he discovers corruption in both the Russian and American governments. I can't really go more into the plot without ruining it.

It's a good book so if you are looking for a good mystery, I heartily recommend it!

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