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Smith, Martin Cruz

renko novels gorky follows

(US, 1942– )

Smith has worked as a reporter, and his novels are meticulously researched, supporting complicated and compelling plots with sharp social observation. He has written a number of crime and suspense novels under a variety of pseudonyms, but is best known for Gorky Park (1981), which is set in cold war Russia and follows the investigation of Soviet detective Arkady Renko into a triple murder after bodies are discovered frozen in Gorky Park. Renko's enquiries unveil many levels of corruption, as he follows leads through a cross-section of society. Renko's popularity led Smith to reuse the character, but unrelated novels such as Nightwing (1977), a nightmarish story about a plague of vampire bats and their link to deaths within a Hopi Indian community, are also well worth reading.

Stephen King, Evan Hunter (writing as Ed McBain), Raymond Chandler.

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