book reviews by Althea

Three Stations – Martin Cruz Smith ***

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(Arkady Renko #7)
I really should’ve read this one before ‘Tatiana,’ which I just read earlier this month – but I couldn’t find it, and the other book had an impending library due date.

Investigator Arkady Renko is in disfavor with his boss, and under threat of dismissal. However, he just can’t stop investigating, even when instructed not to. When his alcoholic colleague discovers a young woman’s body in an abandoned trailer, he’s compelled to find out who she was and how she died…

Meanwhile, a runaway prostitute is in search of her stolen infant. Renko’s ward, Zhenya, is willing to help, but the world of teens around the Three Stations area is pretty rough…

The book is compelling reading. I found myself staying up late and caring about the fates of the characters.

However, from a purely logical/structural viewpoint, there are some issues here. There are too many coincidences for events to be fully believable. There are extra crimes brought in too close to the end, nearly skipped over, and the ‘bad guys’ motivations remain mysterious – and a little eyebrow-raising.


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