by Martin Cruz Smith
I always assumed that Martin Cruz Smith would be too much for me in the way that John le Carre's George Smiley books leave me dazed and confused. Thus, I have never read "Gorky Park" which has sat on our shelf for ages, and chose with trepidation "Three Stations" on CD for our recent cross country car ride.
Despite the fact that this is number seven in the Arkady Renko series, I was immediately drawn into this story, not one bit befuddled. A great peek into modern day Russia complete with its corruption, thuggery, runaway kids, prostitution rings, and street gangs. Arkady Renko is a most appealing police inspector good guy, and despite the fact that Cruz Smith pulls out one of those unexpectedly sudden and implausible plot solutions, "Three Stations" is an engaging listen.
Ron McLarty narrates perfectly, giving voice to characters as disparate as a teenaged mom, a boy chess genius, a Pakistani shop owner, and two enforcers from organized crime. He joins George Guidall, Dick Hill, and Frank Muller (who narrate Vince Flynn, Lee Child, and Elmore Leonard respectively) as a perfect match of reader to author.
Now on to "Gorky Park."
Addendum: Actually, "Red Square" not "Gorky Park" in the personal library, and I gave up on page three. I need oral interpretation on these dense intrigue books.