After reading Gorky Park, I learned that there were sequels to this book, Polar Star and Red Square. I thought the sequels would be a hard act to follow. I was wrong. Arkady has to take flight from sinister forces which are out to exterminate him following his investigations in the first book. He finds asylum and sustenance on a Soviet Factory Ship working with the US in US waters in the spirit of Glasnost. there is a suspected murder of a young woman on board; given his record, he is asked to investigate ostensibly that the young woman had died due to misadventure, otherwise it would not look very good to the Americans. Arkady thinks and does otherwise, the powers that be did not reckon on his forensic abilities and skills. That's where the problems start. I do not want to say anymore with regard to the plot.
The book is resplendent with the claustrophobic atmosphere of the ship. You can smell the salt, fish, sweat, cabbage, Russian tobacco smoke with the turn of each page.
His observations of the Russians and Soviet people is magnificent, they are sitting in front of you with friendliness, diffidence, hostility - you can see straight in to their eyes and feel an air of menace.
Martin Cruz Smith knows the Soviet Union, its politics and people so well that you are up against them just like Arkady. Having said that, one can not help feeling that he loves his subject matter. Makes you wonder what the Russians think of him.