Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Evolution of the Mystery Genre

Gorky Park
Martin Cruz Smith

Gorky Park is set in the Soviet Union. It follows Arkady Renko, a chief investigator for the Militsiya, who is assigned to a case involving three corpses found in Gorky Park, an amusement park in Moscow, who have had their faces and fingertips cut off by the murderer to prevent identification. The novel, which was called the "thriller of the '80s" by Time, became a bestseller and won a Gold Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers' Association. Renko has since appeared in six other novels by Smith. Gorky Park debuted at number one on the "New York Times" bestseller list on April 26, 1981. Gorky Park It is listed as #35 on the Top 100 Mystery Novels of all Time.

Martin Cruz Smith (November 3, 1942)

Smith is best known for his novels featuring Russian investigator Arkady Renko whom Smith introduced in Gorky Park (1981During the 1990s, Smith twice won the Dashiell Hammett Award from the North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers. The first time was for Rose in 1996; the second time was for Havana Bay in 1999. And on September 5, 2010, he and Arkady Renko returned to the top of the New York Times bestseller list when Three Stations debuted at number seven on the fiction bestsellers list. In the 1970s, Smith wrote two Slocum adult action Western novels under the pen name Jake Logan. Smith has also written a number of other paperback originals, including a series about a character named "The Inquisitor", a James Bond-type agent employed by the Vatican. Smith also wrote two novels in the Nick Carter series.
He originally wrote under the name "Martin Smith", only to discover there were other writers with the same name. His agent asked Smith to add a third name and Smith chose Cruz, his paternal grandmother's surname.


Arkady Renko books
• Gorky Park New York: Random House, 1981
• Polar Star New York: Random House, 1989
• Red Square New York: Random House, 1992
• Havana Bay New York: Random House, 1999
• Wolves Eat Dogs New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004
• Stalin's Ghost New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007
• Three Stations New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010
• Tatiana (2013)

Romano Grey books
• Gypsy in Amber New York: Putnam, [1971]
• Canto for a Gypsy New York: Putnam, [1972]

The Inquisitor Series-(Simon Quinn)
• 1The Devil in Kansas (1974) (The Inquisitor Series #1)
• The Last Time I Saw Hell (1974) (The Inquisitor Series #2)
• Nuplex Red (1974) (The Inquisitor Series #3)
• His Eminence, Death (1974) (The Inquisitor Series #4)
• The Midas Coffin (1975) (The Inquisitor Series #5)
• Last Rites for the Vulture (1975) (The Inquisitor Series #6)


  1. I'm a huge fan of Martin Cruz Smith and so glad to see a tribute to him! I've read all the Arkady Renko books (several times) and his character development is pure genius. A few other books by him are worth mentioning: Stallion Gate, December 6, and Rose (my personal favorite).

    1. I've throughly enjoyed Gorky Park. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check out the rest of the series.