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Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith

Wolves Eat Dogs (2004)

by Martin Cruz Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Arkady Renko (5)

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1,030318,227 (3.69)24



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English (27)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Solid crime drama with a Chernobyl and tech tie-in. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I just really love Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko spy thrillers. I like his other books too, but there's just something about these... I was really sad that after I read this book, there'd be no more that I hadn't read... and then I went online, and there's a new one out due next month! Yay! "Stalin's Ghost" is now on my wishlist...

In "Wolves Eat Dogs," the fifth in the series, investigator Renko is at the scene of the death of a prominent Russian businessman, who appears to have leaped out his window to his death - an obvious suicide. However, Renko has a hunch there's something more to this death - a feeling that's not looked kindly upon by either his superiors or the dead man's associates, who feel that any hint of a potential crime would tarnish Russian business' already-not-too-shining reputation.
Nevertheless, Renko stays doggedly on the case, and soon his persistence takes him to the wastelands of Chernobyl....
The crime (of course there's a crime!) is almost presciently relevant in today's political scene, and Cruz Smith really effectively not only does his research but uses it - I fully believed in the place and characters. I recently read a National Geographic article about the current state of the lands around Chernobyl, so I know that much of what Cruz Smith writes is accurate - but after reading his book, I feel that not only do I know, I understand.
Plus, the book was exciting and fun! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A great finish and end ... but very hard to follow in between. A high profile mobster commits suicide (at least everyone thinks so) but Arkady needs better proof and the Whys answered. He spends most of the novel in the danger zone of Chernobyl, Ukraine, trying to find answers. This is actually the most interesting part to me; what life is like in a radioactive zone. Language a little rough for my tastes and the overall feeling more dark than his usual stuff, I still like MCS a lot. ( )
  repb | Aug 29, 2015 |
Cynical, melancholy Moscow special investigator Arkardy Renko has a serious problem. One of Moscow's newly minted billionaires has taken a fatal plunge off of a twenty-story condominium - suicide or murder? As Renko dryly observes "We prefer suicides. Suicides don't demand work, or drive up the crime rate."

In his fifth book featuring his laconic, down-trodden detective, Martin Cruz Smith is at the top of his game. Wolves Eat Dogs takes Renko, filling his role as Moscow's most dogged and quixotic gumshoe, from the heady environs of the new Russian elite down a twisted, wayward path into a deadly quietly radioactive heart of darkness, the 30-mile Exclusion Zone surrounding Chernobyl.

Tautly written, intriguing and quite frankly offering a more humane glimpse of the Russian pysche then western fiction typically offers, Wolves Eat Dogs is a terrific and unique mystery, with Renko, as ever, leading the reader deeper and deeper into uncharted territory - in this case, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, with its eerie abandoned towns, burgeoning wildlife, icon-thieves, corrupt car parts dealers and obsessive scientests. Smith weaves an involving and immersive mystery with first-rate characters and plotting, in a very unique setting. ( )
  Hanneri | Apr 23, 2015 |
When the wealthy physicist plunges to his death from his penthouse window Investigator Akardy Renko suspects foul play but without enough evidence the case is determined as suicide. A short time after another body is discovered in the restricted zone surrounding Chernobyl and it appears the two deaths are related. Renko is dispatched to the area to do some investigating and manages to find himself plenty of trouble.
Renko is a likeable , somewhat flawed character, seemingly unable to make smart decisions, who somehow makes it all right in the end ( )
  TheWasp | Aug 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Intricately plotted, smartly written, and tastefully ghoulish, Smith's new Wolves Eat Dogs chronicles the ongoing travails of Arkady Renko, the cynical Moscow detective Smith introduced in Gorky Park, giving him a stormy new love affair and a creepy brainteaser of a mystery to unravel.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin Cruz Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Castagnone, Maria GiuliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671775952, Paperback)

"Why would anyone jump out a window with a saltshaker?" A good question, especially when the suicide victim is Pasha Ivanov, a Moscow physicist-turned-billionaire businessman--a "New Russian" poster boy, if ever there was one--with several homes, a leggy 20-year-old girlfriend ("the kind [of blonde] who could summon the attention of a breeze"), and every reason to be contented in his middle age. So, wonders Senior Investigator Arkady Renko, in Martin Cruz Smith's Wolves Eat Dogs, what provoked Ivanov to take a header from his stylish 10th-floor apartment? And how does it relate to the shaker clutched in his dead hand or the hillock of table salt found on his closet floor?

Renko, introduced in Smith's 1981 bestseller, Gorky Park, is a cop well out of sync with rapidly changing Russian society, "a difficult investigator, a holdover from the Soviet era, a man on the skids" whose determination to do more than go through the motions of criminal inquiries inevitably exasperates his superiors. Thus, when this saturnine detective declines to accept the verdict that Ivanov did himself in--who peppered that salt around the capitalist's premises, Renko still wants to know, and what about rumors of a security breach at Ivanov's apartment building?--he is exiled to the Ukrainian Zone of Exclusion, the "radioactive wasteland" surrounding Chernobyl, site of a notorious 1986 nuclear disaster and the place where, only a week after Ivanov's demise, his company's senior vice-president is found with his throat slit. There, among cynical scientists, entrepreneurial scavengers, and predators both two- and four-legged--an exclusive coterie of the rejected--Renko chews over the crimes on his plate. Unfortunately, the dosimeter that warns him of radiation exposure at Chernobyl does not also protect him from a pair of malevolent brothers, or a "damaged" woman doctor offering him mutually assured disappointment.

Smith has a keen eye for the comical quirks of modern-day Russia--its chaotic roadways, voracious appetite for post-communist luxuries, and evolving ethics ("Russians used to kill for women or power, real reasons. Now they kill for money"). And this story's bleakly beautiful Ukrainian backdrop nicely complements the desperate hope of Renko's task. Still, the greatest strength of Wolves Eat Dogs (Smith's fifth series installment, after Havana Bay) is its characters, especially Arkady Renko, who despite his lugubrious nature continues to show a heart as expansive and unfathomable as the Siberia steppe. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Arkady Renko returns for his most enigmatic and baffling case: the death of one of Russia's new billionaires, which leads him to the Zone of Exclusion - Chernobyl and the surrounding areas closed to the world since the nuclear disaster of April 1986." "In Wolves Eat Dogs, Renko enters the privileged world of Russia's new billionaire class. The grandest of them all, a self-made powerhouse named Pasha Ivanov, has apparently leapt to his death from the palatial splendor of his posh, ultra-modern Moscow condominium. While there are no signs pointing to homicide, there is one troubling and puzzling bit of evidence: in Ivanov's bedroom closet, there's a mountain of salt."."Ivanov's demise ultimately leads Renko to Chernobyl and its environs. It is a ghostly world, still aglow with radioactivity, now inhabited only by the militia, shady scavengers, a few reckless scientists and some elderly Ukrainian peasants who would rather ignore the Geiger counters than relocate. Renko's journey to this netherworld, the crimes he uncovers there and the secrets they reveal about the New Russia, make for a tense page-turning adventure."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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