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Red Square | [Martin Cruz Smith]

Red Square

In the summer of 1991, Arkady Renko has returned from exile and is back on the homicide squad in a newly democratic Moscow. When Arkady’s informant, Rudy Rosen, and his underworld bank-on-wheels are consumed in a ball of fire, Arkady finds himself in an investigation that points to the heart of Russia’s decaying infrastructure.
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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1991, Arkady Renko has returned from exile and is back on the homicide squad in a newly democratic Moscow. When Arkady’s informant, Rudy Rosen, and his underworld bank-on-wheels are consumed in a ball of fire, Arkady finds himself in an investigation that points to the heart of Russia’s decaying infrastructure.

©1992 Titanic Productions, Inc. (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (175 )
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4.2 (155 )
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4.3 (153 )
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  •  
    janncam 12-22-11
    janncam 12-22-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Frank Muller is Arkady Renko"

    Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko ranks as one of my favorite characters: cynical, sardonic, and tragically honest. I love the Arkady Renko books and Frank Muller embodies Renko's tone and character perfectly. I was thrilled when this version of Polar Star was added to the Audible library, and now Red Square. In another format I have also listened to Frank Muller read Gorky Park and Havana Bay. Hopefully these recordings will make it to Audible as well; in fact I've been so spoiled that I can't listen to any other reader. To me Frank Muller's voice IS the voice of Arkady Renko.
    Structurally, this book takes a bit to get into, relative to the preceding books in the series. But once Renko has a personal investment in solving the crimes, the plot flows easily and compellingly. Throughout, Cruz Smith's language is as poetic and profound as it is in all the Renko books. Highly recommended!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-19-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-19-12 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

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    "Another fantastic novel by Martin Cruz Smith."

    Arkady Renko is one of the richest characters ever created in all of literature, and his creator is one of the best writers living, in any genre. Plus, Frank Muller was without doubt the best narrator who ever read a book. This is a formidable combination, and it does not disappoint. Smith has created a Russia which feels so thoroughly researched and true that you think he must have lived there for decades. He hasn't. The entire Renko series makes one wonder why anyone else bothers to write. Gorky Park, Red Square, Polar Star, Wolves Eat Dogs: you will be thrilled by any of these. Smith's sense of time and place are so vivid that you almost feel you are living there and then. Muller's voice is so supple and many-faceted that any regular listener will instantly warm to it, and have the awesome experience of hearing an actor with virtually limitless talent. Renko is so complex: so sad yet so determined to pursue his cases; so thoroughly Russian, so observant of his environment, so passionate yet vulnerable to depression. Do you know many people in real life who are so completely human? And yet, every word of every book is fiction, a creation of one of the most fertile minds in the writing world. If you have missed this combination, you are fortunate enough to anticipate many hours of enjoyment. I have read and re-read these books several times, because they are so full of nuance and detail that you forget much of it between readings. I cannot say this of many other writers: you read them once and you have no need to read them again. Not this author, and most assuredly not this narrator.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa United States 03-28-12
    Lisa United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Not as good as the first Books in the series"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This book really seemed to lose something that was present in the two previous books of the series. I just came away from this one feeling like a lot of the magic in the characters, as well as the political intensity that provided the backdrop of the story was somehow diminished, or missing completely. A lot of the things that I fell in love with regarding this whole series was based on the difficulties of investigating crime in a country that purports that there can be no crime. Combined with the political impossibility of constantly trying to work while being watched by every political organization in the country — both legitimate and not — and you simply have a setting inherently intense as far as criminal investigation. So, I think going into this one was potentially a let down because of the fall of communism, and how it really relieved a lot of the suspense and intensity that are evident in the first three books. I just started feeling like this book was just one more static detective novel, degenerating to a carbon copy of so many of the other ones that are out there.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul ANKENY, IA, United States 09-12-13
    Paul ANKENY, IA, United States 09-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Masterful Historic Writing"
    Where does Red Square rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The beauty of Red Square is not necessarily in the story, but in the story telling and description of the soviet republic. Smith's prose is exceptionally enjoyable and the world view he presents through the mind of Arkady Renko is absolutely one of a kind. Cruz Smith's writing is truly about the journey, not necessarily the destination.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Regina, SK, Canada 03-12-13
    Alison Regina, SK, Canada 03-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I'm in love with Arkady Renko!"
    What did you love best about Red Square?

    I think the atmosphere that the author creates is the best


    What did you like best about this story?

    Arkady finally caught up with Irina and it worked out for them


    Have you listened to any of Frank Muller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I really like his different voices and characterizations


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not any particular moment but the whole book just leaves you feeling and thinking long after you've finished it


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-12-13
    03-12-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Martin Cruz Smith is the Best"

    This is the fourth Martin Smith book I have enjoyed in the past month or so. My only complaint is that he has not written enough books and I am already concerned about what will be my reaction when I have exhausted Smith's production. I have never enjoyed any books as much as these. I am very concerned that from now on all authors will be compared to this guy and fall short.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    neil FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 12-05-14
    neil FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 12-05-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Fine Series"

    First, I admit that I am a genuine fan of the writings of Martin Cruz Smith. He has always done a masterful job of writing fiction. I have read or listened to each novel in the "Arkady Renko" series several times, and was highly entertained each time. The same holds true for me with his other works, as well. Like all first rate writers, no matter in what genre they write, there is nothing "artificial" in their work. So it is here The story flows, the drama unfolds from the basic human nature of the characters and they remain true to those natures. Every word seems finely crafted to fit where it should and enhances the storyline.
    Frank Muller's job was well done. Someone new to Smith's writings and this series, might do well to start with "Gorky Park", which is the first in this chronological series. But, by itself, this is a good book to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Robert MacGrogan Florida 05-21-13
    Robert MacGrogan Florida 05-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A Fascinating Thriller And So Much More"
    If you could sum up Red Square in three words, what would they be?

    A fascinating story of a fascinating time and place (the old Eastern block as it crumbles and stumbles out of decades of Communism) with psychologically complex characters who experience real emotions, and it just happens to also be an engaging thriller.


    What three words best describe Frank Muller’s voice?

    I found Muller's narration to be difficult to follow for the first hour or two. He uses a very deep, quiet baritone to express the Arkady's ennui, which is appropriate. But I found the narration nearly inaudible in places near the beginning and thought every sentence was read in the same sad, declining cadence. A firey explosion is narrated in the same sad, slow tone of voice he uses to describe Arkady's jaded interactions with black marketeers. However, once he gets his rhythm, Muller's voice really finds a nice, easy to follow tone that adds a lot to the story. (Or maybe I just got used to it.)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 02-24-13
    W. Max Hollmann Florida 02-24-13 Member Since 2008

    Non Fiction Reader

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    "Quite Typical Arkady"

    Some authors get into a "grove" for their central character and so it is with Smith. Arkady is the "dumb as a fox" detective (investigator) taking on the entire Soviet system, hating his father and fighting his superiors. He somehow simultaneous loses by winning and wins by losing. The book is still a good read if you limit youself to only one every two years. For me, a shorter time span would make the characters and locations boring. You can always tell that he will solve the case. One other item: Smith's depictions of every day Soviet life are accurate, e.g. car owners do take in their windshield wipers at night and lines for basic essentials are long and tedious. I recommend it with the above caveat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Frances
    9/2/14
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    "ok story with soporific narration"

    There is an echo behind the recording on this book making it very hard to listen to. Not helped by Muller's terrible ponderous and monotone narration. The story is not bad - there are better Renko books than this one - but overall it is very hard to listen to a bad echo-y recording and concentrate on what's being read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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