Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith

Gorky Park

Gorky Park

Gorky Park, the fiction novel by Martin Cruz Smith which introduced us all to the delights of the that most enigmatic of Russians, Arkady Renko.

Gorky Park takes its name from the amusement park of the same name in Moscow. Three corpses, their faces and fingertips missing, are found buried in the snows of the park. The body parts had been removed to hide their identities.

Renko, a chief investigator for the Militsiya, is tasked with solving the case.

Renko falls foul of the authorities as he relentlessly exposes the charlatans within the Russian hierarchy, regardless of the power they may have over him.

The story unfolds in a surprising manner, with many plot twists.

Martin Cruz Smith is a wonderful writer, who really catches the mood and the flavour of Mother Russia and who keeps the reader endlessly guessing.  Gorky Park is a must read.

Gorky Park, il romanzo di Martin Cruz Smith che ci ha fatto conoscere le delizie del più enigmatico dei russi, Arkady Renko.

Gorky Park prende il nome dall’omonimo parco divertimenti di Mosca. Tre cadaveri, senza volto e punta delle dita, vengono ritrovati sepolti nella neve del parco. Le parti del corpo erano state rimosse per nascondere la loro identità.

Renko, un investigatore capo della Militsiya, ha il compito di risolvere il caso.

Renko cade in fallo delle autorità mentre denuncia senza sosta i ciarlatani all’interno della gerarchia russa, indipendentemente dal potere che possono avere su di lui.

La storia si svolge in modo sorprendente, con molti colpi di scena.

Martin Cruz Smith è uno scrittore meraviglioso, che cattura davvero l’atmosfera e il sapore di Madre Russia e che tiene il lettore a indovinare senza fine. Gorky Park è una lettura obbligata per chi ama il miglior scrittore di narrativa.

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Moskva by Jack Grimwood

Moscow thriller novel

Moscow thriller novel

Jack Grimwood is a British writer who was born in Malta. His novel, Moskva, is a taut serial killer thriller and a magnificent piece of fiction.

In the mid-1980s a body of a naked man is found, it’s right hand little finger missing. It’s location, just beside the exterior of the wall of the Kremlin.

Shortly afterwards a fifteen year old girl vanishes. It is particularly concerning because she is the daughter of the British Ambassador.

Recently posted to Moscow, the disgraced military officer, Tom Fox, is entrusted with finding her. He sees a chance to redeem himself. However, the Soviets will not acknowledge the serial killer and cannot identify him and they do not want Fox poking his nose in.

The Soviets are determined to keep a lid on things and to hide the evil that lurks within their system.

Fox is on a race against time to prevent the girl from becoming the next murder victim.

This Cold War thriller is cleverly plotted and beautifully written, evoking another time and another place.

If his fiction novel, Moskva, is anything to go by then Jack Grimwood is a man to watch….and most definitely to read!

Photo by Nikolay Vorobyev on Unsplash

The Freedom Trap by Desmond Bagley

The freedom trap

The freedom trap

Another novel by Desmond Bagley, author of The Vivero Letter, one of my all time favourite writers. I only wish I could have met him.

The Freedom Trap was first published in 1971 and is said to be loosely based on the escape of, spy, double agent and traitor depending on your point of view, George Blake from prison five years earlier. It was made into a film in 1973, called The Mackintosh Man, starring Paul Newman.

The fiction story starts with Joseph Rearden who is a villain from South Africa . He meets an agent of MI5 in London called Mackintosh, who recruits him for an assignment. It is a dangerous task and is to trap The Scarperers  who are a well known gang of criminals who gaol-breaking long-term prisoners. He is also to catch Slade who is a Russian double agent whom they recently helped to escape. Rearden is told to rob a postman with a packet of uncut diamonds. He is then  ‘caught’ and sent to jail in hopes that he can contact the Scarperers. It is a clever and exciting plot which races to Malta and beyond……well worth a read.

In the mid 20th century, British writers such as Hammond Innes, Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley set out the conventions of the thriller genre. Their heroes were  a resilient and resourceful ordinary individuals facing tremendous odds. The villains were utterly ruthless in pursuit of their goals.

Desmond Bagleyren beste nobela bat, The Vivero Letter-en egilea, nire idazle gogokoenetako bat. Ezagutzea bakarrik nahi nuke.

Freedom Trap 1971n argitaratu zen lehen aldiz, eta bost urte lehenago George Blake kartzelatik zetorren, espioiaren, agente bikoitzaren eta traidorearen ihesean oinarrituta omen dago. 1973an film bat egin zuten, The Mackintosh Man izenekoa, Paul Newman protagonista zuela.

Fikzio istorioa Hegoafrikako gaiztoa den Joseph Reardenekin hasten da. MI5 agenteko agente bat ezagutuko du Londresen Mackintosh izenekoa, eta honek zeregin baterako kontratatuko du. Zeregin arriskutsua da eta epe luzeko presoak hausten dituzten gaizkile talde ezaguna diren Scarperers harrapatzea da. Gainera, duela gutxi ihes egiten lagundu zioten agente biko errusiarra den Slade harrapatzekoa da. Reardenek postari bati ebaki gabeko diamante pakete batekin lapurreta egiteko esan dio. Gero “harrapatu” eta espetxera bidali dute Scarperers-ekin harremanetan jartzeko itxaropenarekin. Trama argia eta zirraragarria da, Maltara eta haratago lasterketetan ibiltzen dena … irakurtzea merezi du.

Mendearen erdialdean, Hammond Innes, Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley bezalako idazle britainiarrek thriller generoaren konbentzioak zehaztu zituzten. Haien heroiak izugarrizko probabilitateak zituzten gizabanako arrunt erresilienteak eta aberatsak ziren. Gaizkileak erabat gupidagabeak ziren helburuak lortzeko.

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