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Fall of a Cosmonaut by Stuart M. Kaminsky
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Fall of a Cosmonaut (2000)

by Stuart M. Kaminsky

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Showing 4 of 4
I am so going to miss Mr. Kaminsky's Porfiry. I think I own every novel he has written with this lovable Russian detective and I re-visit them regularly. What a unique character he has created and his writing style always flowed so easily that the book was over before you knew it. If you have never read Kaminsky I would advise that you give him a try - I don't think you'll be disappointed.
  carissa58 | Sep 12, 2013 |
I've been reading this mystery series since some time in the early 1980s and I still enjoy them. The books may have lost a bit of je ne sais quoi in their backdrops as they moved from the Soviet Union to post-Soviet Russia: the political drama surrounding the investigations just seems less intense and convoluted. However, the characters I've come to enjoy are still there and, despite being largely unchanged with time, have avoided becoming caricatures of themselves. I'd recommend this series to those who enjoy whodunits. ( )
  TadAD | Nov 24, 2010 |
One cannot fail to fall in love with this one-legged Moscow inspector - Porfiry Rostnikov, thoughtful, deliberate, never rushing, but always knowing, experienced and wise. It's the third book by S. Kaminsky that I've read and I am craving more. My only problem with this talented writer is that he should let an authentic Russian speaker edit the Russian phrases that he uses in the book, as he does have mistakes there; it's a shame he doesn't employ a Russian editor for this mystery series. ( )
  Clara53 | Feb 26, 2009 |
It is getting harder to locate real mystery writers as opposed to mass murdering, psycho thrillers. Kaminsky books are always thoughtful and witty with good character development - and a good mystery. His prose is concise and I am never subjected to multiple page descriptions of a car chase. As usual, our Inspector is given a "detective" assignment with political limits. He must find the missing cosmonaut but not inquire into why he is missing - or the reason why all his planned interviewees seem to get murdered just before he finds them. Meanwhile his cohorts investigate a murder plot involving a stolen movie about Tolstoy and the murder of a parapsychologist. Kaminsky is always a joy to read. (Excerpt: when a suspect asks one of our detectives if he needs this information so he can imagine the murder, he answers: "I have no imagination. I gather facts. If imagination is needed I consult (my boss)." ( )
  effacina | Jun 16, 2007 |
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Epigraph
I, son of Ether, will take you to orbs that lie beyond the stars, and you will be queen of the universe, my bride. And from above you will look back without regret, without concern at the earth which, you will then know, has no real happiness and no lasting beauty - Mikhail Lermontov, The Demon
The stars, as if knowing that no one was looking at them, began to act in the dark sky; now trembling, they were busy whispering with pleasure and mysteriously to one another. - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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To Elliott Gould, fan and friend, from a fan and friend
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0892966688, Hardcover)

It's no coincidence that Chief Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov, Stuart Kaminsky's popular Moscow policeman, reads Ed McBain novels. McBain's 87th Precinct and its denizens are a lot like Kaminsky's Office of Special Investigation, and in this 13th outing in the author's series featuring Rostnikov and his colleagues, the parallels are particularly outstanding. Kaminsky, who also pens the Toby Peters, Abe Lieberman, and Lew Fonseca series, has published extensively on Hollywood icons such as Gary Cooper and Clint Eastwood, worth noting because his detectives share many of their qualities and more than a little of their style.

This lively thriller has Rostnikov and his investigators working three cases: the disappearance of a cosmonaut; the theft of the final negative of a Russian movie epic on the life of Tolstoy; and the murder of a parapsychologist. Each offers a handful of suspects, motives, and an opportunity for one of Rostnikov's detectives to take center stage: the inspector and his son Iosef on the search for the last survivor of a mission on Mir gone horribly (and secretly) wrong; Sasha, whose wife and children have left him and whose mother is driving him crazy, trying to sort out who's behind the extortion attempt on the movie producer; and Karpo and Zelach, assigned to the murder at the Center for the Study of Technical Parapsychology, where, to Zelach's dismay, his unusual (and unwelcome) telepathic gifts are accidentally discovered by a researcher who won't take no for an answer.

In due time, the cases are solved, the loose ends wrapped up, and the lives and loves of Rostnikov and his men have become as important to the reader as the guys at the 87th Precinct have become over time to McBain's readers. Both authors share a mastery of their craft, an unhurried but intellectually challenging pace, and a gift for characterization that is equaled by few other writers in the genre. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rostnikov confronts a mystery that stretches from Moscow to the stars Once, Russian children wanted to be cosmonauts like Yuri Gagarin. But the Soviet Union is dead, and the days of Gagarin's glory are long passed. For the men and women aboard the decaying Mir space station, life is an unending series of near-disasters. During one such breakdown, cosmonaut Tsimion Vladovka asks ground control to contact Moscow police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov if anything happens to him. And when Vladovka disappears a year after his safe return to Earth, Rostnikov is the only man who can find him. A philosophical detective, Rostnikov has made a name for himself navigating the bureaucracies of the Kremlin. But never has he encountered anything like the labyrinth that is Star City, home of the Russian space program. Something has terrified the cosmonaut, and since he knows dangerous state secrets, he must be found, alive or dead. But if a man who braved outer space is scared, what chance does an earthbound detective have?… (more)

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