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Extended Audio Sample Stalin’s Ghost, by Martin Cruz Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5 4.50 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin Cruz Smith Narrator: Henry Strozier Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Arkady Renko Novels Release Date:
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Investigator Arkady Renko, the pariah of the Moscow prosecutor’s office, has been assigned the thankless job of investigating a new phenomenon: late-night subway riders report seeing the ghost of Joseph Stalin on the platform of the Chistye Prudy Metro station. The illusion seems part political hocus-pocus and also part wishful thinking, for among many Russians Stalin is again popular; the bloody dictator can boast a two-to-one approval rating. Decidedly better than that of Renko, whose lover, Eva, has left him for Detective Mikolai Isakov, a charismatic veteran of the civil war in Chechnya, a hero of the far right and, Renko suspects, a killer for hire. The cases entwine, and Renko’s quests become a personal inquiry fueled by jealousy.

The investigation leads to the fields of Tver outside of Moscow, where once a million soldiers fought. There, amidst the detritus, Renko must confront the ghost of his own father, a favorite general of Stalin’s. In these barren fields, patriots and shady entrepreneurs—the Red Diggers and Black Diggers—collect the bones, weapons and personal effects of slain World War II soldiers, and find that even among the dead there are surprises.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This masterful suspense novel casts a searing light on contemporary Russia.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This series has always been about the perils of digging: whether it’s bodies under the snow or radioactive facts that the powerful want to keep hidden, the treasures that Renko seeks always contain the seeds of his own destruction. But somehow digging his own grave is what keeps Renko alive—and keeps us reading.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “In addition to a gripping mystery, readers will embrace the detailed, harrowing descriptions of the harshness and violence of life in the ‘New Russia.’”

    Bookmarks magazine

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 Hammett Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jake | 5/6/2011

    " Audio Book. The hero gets shot in the head and lives. It kept my attention but I don't think it was anything special. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gary | 2/7/2011

    " There are no more Stieg Larssons out there. This series is just as good if not better. And you don't have to worry about bad translations as Mr Smith is a native American (wait! not a Native American-you understand the difference).
    Read and enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tracy | 1/1/2011

    " Arkasha, where are you? We miss you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joel | 10/27/2010

    " Great mystery book set in Russia. I wish I had the earlier entries in this series. "

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