Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith


Martin Cruz Smith does it again with his new Arkady Renko novel called Three Stations.

The story begins on a Moscow-bound train, with Maya and her 3-week-old daughter Katya, where “snoring, sex, body odour and domestic quarrels were shared by all”. Later, Maya wakes from a drugged sleep in Yaroslavl Station to discover her possessions and her baby missing.

While trying to rescue Sergeant Victor Orlov from a drunken state, Renko, a Moscow Prosecutor, gets call about a dead girl found without a mark on her at a train station.
A distraught Maya, still in search of her baby, is running from the police (who think that Maya sold the child) when she runs into Zhenya, Renko’s surrogate son. Zhenya is a chess hustler on the streets and has made himself at home in the casino of Peter the Great Casino. Maya & Zhenya are on the run from the cops, muggers, killers and gangs in search of 3 month-old, Katya. 
The local authorities feel Renko should drop the case of the dead girl putting it to a drug overdose – only piquing Renko’s curiosity and deepening his quest to find out the truth.
The reader is pulled into the underbelly of Russian aristocracy, drug dealers, prostitution, and gambling.  Renko, Maya and Zhenya all go on a journey in finding the killer and the missing baby and soon all three find out that the hunter now becomes the hunted.
This novel keeps you hooked and intrigued with great character sketches and fast paced writing.
To know how it ends you need to read it...

- Review by Rene Burgers

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