One Dead Commissar At an icebound naval weather station in far Siberia, the young daughter of an exiled dies under suspicious circumstances. The high-ranking Commissar sent to investigate the mystery suffers a similar fate: he is murdered by an icicle thrust into his skull. One Live Cop Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is dispatched to solve the Commissar's murder, with one caveat: he is not to investigate the girl's death. Even if all the clues tell him that the two cases are linked. One Cold Killer In a single, fateful day, Rostnikov will hear two confessions, watch someone die, conspire against the government, and nearly meet his own death. All under the watchful eye of the KGB -- and someone much closer and infinitely more terrifying.
The death of a dissident's daughter in the remote Siberian cold leads to an investigation. The subsequent death of the ineffectual investigator results in Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov packing his cold-weather clothes and heading north. The fifth work in this series finds Rostnikov's career stuck fast, owing largely to official displeasure at his unorthodox brilliance. His wife is ill, and his son, partly due to bureaucratic revenge on Porfiry, is soldiering somewhere in Afghanistan. The climate and isolation of the murder scene lead to an agreeably short list of suspects for the inspector and his assistant, the robotic, physically daunting Karpo; unexpected interference, however, is encountered from on high. The author has fine-tuned Porfiry and Karpo into a delightful sleuthing team and a fascinating study in odd contrasts. Kaminsky's warm affection for his characters makes for a winning series. PLR.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review
The fifth novel in the Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series offers another example of Kaminsky's ( A Fine Red Rain ) ability to spin a gripping, well-paced narrative peopled with vivid characters. Here the maverick Rostnikov, demoted after numerous battles with the KGB, is assigned to the case of Commissar Illya Rutkin, who was killed in Siberia while investigating the death of dissident Lev Samsonov's daughter, Karla. Inspector Emil Karpo, who accompanies the 54-year-old weightlifting policeman to the small town of Tumsk, has been asked by the KGB to report on his superior. Comrade Sokolov goes along, too, ostensibly to learn procedures, though Rostnikov knows his methods are under scrutiny. A realist and keen observer of humanity, Rostnikov deals shrewdly with the suspects in Rutkin's slaying: Lev Samsonov and his wife, Ludmilla; custodians Liana and Sergei Mirasnikov; Dimitri Galich, a former priest; and militarist General Krasnikov. As Rostnikov unravels the baffling crime, the clues point to loyalty and love as the motives for murder. The denouement is stunning and again proves Rostnikov is in a class by himself. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Stuart M. Kaminsky is head of the radio/television/film department at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also a writer of textbooks, screenplays, and mystery novels. The more popular of his two series of detective novels features Toby Peters. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the Peters books draw on Kaminsky's knowledge of history and love of film by incorporating characters from the film industry's past in nostalgic mysteries. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (1978), for example, features Judy Garland while Catch a Falling Clown (1982) stars Emmett Kelley as Peters's client and Alfred Hitchcock as a murder suspect. His other critically acclaimed series chronicles the cases of Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov. Kaminsky's detailed studies of Russian police procedure combined with aspects of life in Russia have earned the Series an Edgar nomination for Black Knight in Red Square (1984) and the 1989 Edgar Award for A Cold Red Sunrise (1988). Stuart Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and died in 2009. (Bowker Author Biography)