Moscow lies deep under snow, and Arkady Renko is called in to handle a delicate matter: passengers riding the last metro of the night have reported seeing the ghost of Stalin on the platform edge. Not everyone, it seems, likes the fact that Stalin is dead . . .
But in the midst of a blizzard nothing is as it first appears to be. Renko’s girlfriend Eva and his adopted son, Zhenya, seem to be slipping into danger. The owner of a matrimonial agency wants her husband killed. An innocent `Russian Bride’ employs a garrotte. A chess grandmaster wanders into Renko’s life and leads him into the line of fire. Diehard Communists gather to sing along with Stalin. `Red Diggers’ uncover secrets buried for half century in a desolate forest and Renko discovers ghosts that have been waiting for him all his life . . .
As Russia swings more and more to the right, Renko is more and more out of step. Not only an original and deeply humane thriller, Stalin’s Ghost is also a wonderful evocation of the emerging New Russia.
Praise for Martin Cruz Smith:
`Cruz Smith not only constructs grittily realistic plots, he also has a gift for characterisation of which most thriller writers can only dream’ Mail on Sunday