An unscrupulous cab driver. The killer's own frightened wife. Most troublesome of all, an outspoken dissident, watched closely by the KGB, whose trial had been set for the very next day.
A heavy iron-headed hammer. A rusty, antiquated sickle. And a broken vodka bottle.
Tkach, who seduces suspects into confessing with his apparent innocence. Karpo, a bit of a Tartar, a bit of a vampire, a stolid saint of the Soviet faith. And Rostnikov, their leader, who almost wishes the investigation won't turn out to be too simple. Before the case is over, Rostnikov will remember that wish and regret it.
©1990 Stuart M. Kaminsky (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I originally read this back in the 80s (in real time) during the Cold War. I found it to be a fascinating glimpse of a people snd society who were closed off to us. The main character of Porfiry Rostnikov is a policeman who is very good at his job and very devoted to his Jewish wife. He struggles with the politics of not only his job, but with the arcane requirements for getting his plumbing fixed by the building's management. He manages to do both with zen-like patience and a sense of humor about the absurdity of life. The book was as good today as I remembered.
The reader was also very good. He was clear, easy to understand, and dramatic but not overly so. Please note that this was re-recorded by the current publisher and are not the original books on tape. Although, I loved the original reader (the always excellent Mark Hammer), I appreciate the clear, noise free digital production.
Although I love the written series, the narration of this recorded book is painful. John McLain's characters have a host of accents. Most of the minor characters speak with Russian accents. The main characters speak with American accents.
The final insult is the pronunciation of Sasha Tkach's name as "Catch".
I am trying to listen to the end, but may not suceed.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
Mostly slow and plodding, characters not really developed, started as a good idea but somewhere along the way author seems to have lost the plot...so to speak.
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