I remember when I finished “Gorky Park” I though that Martin Cruz Smith, after just only one book, was one of my top five favourite authors. The book went up there amongst my favourites with, Lehane’s “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone”, Wilson’s “A Small Death in Lisbon” and Connolly’s “The Unquiet”.
At the time I had a rule that I tried no to break: To never read the same writer consecutively.
I broke it of course with Lehane’s Kenzie/Gennaro series and Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. But after “Gorky Park” I didn’t have the sequel, “Polar Star”, so even if I wanted to break the rule I wasn’t able. In my frustration I ordered all the Arkady Renko books up until “Stalin’s Ghost”. Since then I’ve been reading them without giving space for any other author. I think I’ve become addicted to this series and to the capacity and style of Martin Cruz Smith as a writer. He suits me perfectly: plot, characters, settings and politics. I wish he gave Arkady Renko a bit more of joy from time to time, but then again, maybe the proletarian feeling and the almost depressing yet heroic atmosphere of his personality is just what make him being Arkady Renko.
By the way, “Havana Bay” is not as good as “Gorky Park” or “Red Square”, but it is still better than 90% of the “thriller” books out there.
Next up is “Wolves eat Dogs”.