Havana Bay

by Martin Cruz Smith | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0330340026 Global Overview for this book
Registered by cluricaune of Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on 11/17/2019
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Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Sunday, November 17, 2019
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Havana Bay" is his fourth novel - after "Gorky Park", "Polar Star" and "Red Square" - to feature Arkady Renko and was first published in 1999.

Renko, the hero, works as an Investigator with Moscow's militia - more or less the standard police force - and has something of a chequered career. Never a truly 'practising' member of the Party, Renko hasn't always been thought highly of by those in authority. He has always wanted to catch the people responsible for the crimes he's investigating, regardless of the 'political' consequences - as a result of this, he was once dismissed from the Party for a lack of 'political reliability' and sentenced to a life in Siberia. He has been rehabilitated for several years now, though he always remained something of a disappointment to his father - a very famous ex-General. His father has been dead for some time, though Arkady has recently lost his wife, Irina.

While Renko has been abroad before, "Havana Bay" sees him operating entirely outside the Russian sphere of influence. Having received a mysterious unsigned fax, he's in Havana - apparently to identify a body the Cuban authorities believe to be an old friend of his : ex-KGB Colonel, Sergei Pribluda. Pribluda had been in the Cuban capital for eleven months working as an attache to the Russian Embassy. He had been missing for around a week, until - it would appear - the discovery of a body found floating in Havana Bay. While certain characteristics match up - dental records, for example - Renko isn't entirely convinced : the body has decompsoed to such a point that it's lacking a face and fingerprints. However, since the Cubans believe Pribluda was actually working as a spy, they aren't even remotely bothered about opening an investigation. Arkady, on the other hand, wants to find out what's happened to his friend - even if the corpse isn't Pribluda, he's been missing for a week. Renko isn't the sort to be overly bothered about operating an 'unofficial' investigation - he is techincally a tourist in Cuba - but things won't be easy for him. Since the fall of communism in Russia, there's been a certain amount of tension between Cuba and Renko's homeland. As a result, Renko won't be getting any real help from the Cuban investigators - Sergeant Luna, in particular, goes out of his way to be a hindrance. However, there is a chance Arkady may be able to win over Detective Osario...

Although much better than your average murder-mystery book, I don't think "Havana Bay" was just quite as good as the previous instalments in the Renko series. Part of that came down to the location - I think I may have missed the political games played in Russia. I also thought it was very unfair on Renko to have killed off Irina - he deserves a reason to smile ! However, it is an enjoyable and easily read book - Arkady is a character fans of Harry Bosch should take to very easily.

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Sunday, November 17, 2019
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Journal Entry 3 by cluricaune at Starbucks, 90 Botanic Avenue in Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Friday, December 06, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (12/6/2019 UTC) at Starbucks, 90 Botanic Avenue in Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom

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