Martin Cruz Smith
Born in 1942, in Pennsylvania, USA, Martin Cruz Smith (born Martin William Smith), received his BA in Creative Writing in 1964. He worked as a journalist from 1965 to 1969 before turning his hand to fiction. His first mystery (Gypsy in Amber – 1971) features NY gypsy art dealer Roman Grey and was nominated for an Edgar Award. Nightwing was his breakthrough novel and was made into a movie.
Smith is best known for his series of novels featuring Russian investigator Arkady Renko. Gorky Park, published in 1981, was the first of these and was called "thriller of the '80s" by Time Magazine. It became a bestseller and won the Gold Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers' Association. Renko has also appeared in Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, Wolves Eat Dogs, Stalin's Ghost, and Three Stations.
Martin Cruz Smith now lives in San Rafael, California with his wife and three children.
The Hound's pick
In Soviet Russia, a triple murder in Moscow amusement centre, Gorky Park, leaves three corpses frozen in the snow. But when Senior Investigator in the Moscow Prosecutor's Office Arkady Renko arrives, he finds that the brutal murder leaves the victims unidentifiable with faces and fingers missing. Renko must battle political and corporate corruption internationally, from the USSR to the USA, to uncover the truth - and he must fight for his own life in doing so. Meanwhile, he is falling in love with a beautiful, headstrong dissident for whom he may risk everything.
They lay peacefully, even artfully, under their thawing crust of ice, the centre one on its back, hands folded as if for a religious funeral, the other two turned, arms out under the ice like flanking emblems on embossed writing paper. They were wearing ice skates. Pribluda shouldered Arkady aside. “When I am satisfied questions of state security are not involved, then you begin.” It did indeed become a triple murder investigation for Chief Investigator Arkady Renko. Three corpses had been found in Moscow. But why the horrific mutilations? And why had they been buried in the snows of Gorky Park?
'I can't remember when I have been as excited by a new crime novel as I was by Martin Cruz Smith's powerful, compassionate and original novel'