Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

TATIANA by Martin Cruz Smith

Each chapter heading in Martin Cruz Smith’s brilliant novel, Tatiana, is printed on a slant, providing fair warning that not everything in this story is “on the level.” The author manipulates us by withholding facts and feeding us misinformation. Why does Smith lead us astray? He may be informing the uninitiated that his hero, Arkady Kyrilovich Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases, lives in a society that is off-kilter, warped, and perverse. To survive in today’s Russia, Renko, and others like him, must always be on their guard. Arkady’s cynical colleague, Detective Sergeant Victor Orlov, is tired of wasting his time trying to get the goods on influential miscreants. He insists, “The point is, you can’t win. We’re just playing it out.” He would rather spend his days passed out in his apartment after drinking himself into a stupor.

January 17, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Russia, Sleuths Series

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay

Daphne Kalotay imbues the crowd-pleasing qualities of commercial fiction with a soft and sensuous literary touch in this novel of exile and family, love and betrayal. From the Stalinist aggression of Russia to the peaceful, snowy streets of Boston, the reader is taken on a page-turning journey of professional ballet, fancy jewels, and ethereal poetry. This is an historical romance written by a scholar to appeal to readers seeking a satisfying escape. ??

April 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Debut Novel, Facing History, Mystery/Suspense, NE & New York, Reading Guide, Russia


Just living isn’t the easiest thing in the kingdoms of Valerie Laken. In her psychologically engrossing short story collection, there is always that gaping divide: between countries, cultures, or lovers, or even that schism within ourselves.

March 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Posted in: Russia, Short Stories, United States, y Award Winning Author


A.D. Miller’s noir thriller is nearly impossible to put down once started. Moscow, “that city of neon lust and frenetic sin” is skillfully painted in all its contradictions and juxtapositions. It is “a strange country, Russia, with its talented sinners and occasional saint, bona fide saints that only a place of such accomplished cruelty could produce, a crazy mix of filth and glory.” Nothing is as it seems in this book and ethics are continually stretched to the limit.

February 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Character Driven, Debut Novel, Noir, Reading Guide, Russia, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE TIGER by John Vaillant

John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce, has written another exciting, page-turning book. For those of you not familiar with The Golden Spruce, it is about a tree worshipped by the Haida Indians in southeast Alaska. A mutant golden color, this tree had religious and spiritual significance for the Haida people. A renegade man with super physical abilities decided, in his disturbed thinking, that this tree must come down. How the townspeople and Haida Indians dealt with this loss, along with the history of this man’s life, is the subject of this book. Mr. Vaillant also examines the socio-cultural, economic, and history of southeast Alaska as it pertains to the felling of this tree. In THE TIGER, Mr. Vaillant’s latest book, he tells the story of a rogue tiger in southeast Russia that, in 1997, turns to man-eating.

December 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction, Russia


Hints of travel writer Ian Frazier’s latest project showed up in a recent issue of the New Yorker magazine, when an excerpt from TRAVELS IN SIBERIA was published. Having evocatively captured the spirit of a Native American reservation and the American Great Plains in earlier work, Frazier set his sights on a much grander level—he decided to travel across Siberia. A self-confessed lover of all things Russian, Frazier travels across Siberia despite warnings to the contrary

November 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Non-fiction, Russia