Rostnikov remains demoted, and the KGB still has their eyes on the inspector It is because of this he is sent from his city of Moscow to Siberia to investigate the death of a commissar who was looking into the death of a dissident s daughter The dissident is about to leave for the West, and his departure is not to be delayed.
At the same time Kapro, one of Rostnikov s subordinates, is summoned to KGB headquarters He will be sent along on the investigation, and he is to observe Rostnikov and report upon any indiscretion the barrel of a policeman makes.
Not only is Rostnikov an outsider in Tumsk, unknown to him the only man he feels he can depend on is actually spying on him for the KGB Really there isn t much of a mystery here, but an engrossing tale about people and the conditions in a small town in Siberia.
When Commissar Rutkin is killed while in Siberia investigating the death of a dissident s young daughter, Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is sent to the scene Do his superiors want him to figure out what happened, or cover it up Or, having fallen foul of the KGB, is he intended to fail entirely A Cold Red Sunrise represents my first adventure with Russian Police Inspector, Porfiry Rostnikov, one of several of Stuart Kaminsky s on going characters.
Rostnikov is a fifty plus year old cop with a bum leg married to a Jewish woman As an additional item of interest, their only son is a soldier in the Russian army stationed in Afghanistan Throughout the story we are treated to not only the development of the mystery Rostnikov is sent to investigate in Siberia, but to snatches of ordinary middle class life in Moscow Kaminsky sets his story during the Cold War years and the growing influence of the KGB, and through Rostnikov is able to subtly comment on the difficulties of living in a country where fear of government was so readily accepted by some, and so routinely circumvented by others Mostly, I was intrigued by Rostnikov s personality and his approach to his job, his life in Russia and his apparent shaky relationship with the Communist Party.
My sense of the story is that it was written as a chapter in Porfiry Rostnikov s life, and although it could be read as a stand alone mystery, it was basically about the Inspector and the people in his life I like this approach and I like Rostnikov I think Porfiry and I are about to become imaginary friends.
A Cold Red Sunrise is the fifth book of the Inspector Rostnikpov series set in Russia This outing, published in 1988, shows slight hints of the Glasnost era, though the Soviet regime is very much in place Rostnikpov is an interesting character a stoic, cunning man with an injured leg, who is obsessed with weight lifting and solving crimes, and manages to maintain high principles yet survive the political machinations of the Soviet policing and intelligence services In this tale, Rostnikpov is sent to Siberia to investigate the death of a commissar who had been investigating the suspicious death of the daughter of a soon to be political exile Nobody in the small village seems happy with his presence and his prime tactic is to subtly unsettle the locals to try and provoke a reaction It s a dangerous move given what happened to the commissar Like Rostnikpov and Siberia, the storytelling is spartan, being all show and no tell There s a strong sense of place and contextualisation as to the politics of living and working in the Soviet regime At one level the story seems relatively straightforward and uncomplicated, but as it nears its conclusion Kaminsky reveals some nice twists that make perfect sense but are nonetheless surprising Overall, an engaging and entertaining police procedural.
Did not know who did it until it was revealed.
This book is a perfect example of a frequent topic of discussion on the DorothyL list What takes you out of the story Since my dim dead past includes being a Russian literature major in college and serving as a Russian interpreter in the Army, the frequent errors when Kaminsky inserted transliterated Russian words into his narrative not only annoyed me, but made me doubt other aspects of the story The river in Siberia is the Yenisei, not the Yensei one cigarette is a papiros, two are papirosy and so on Why are these things in the book Well, Kaminsky apparently got the idea to write a series of police procedurals set in Moscow this is the fifth and did some research to give them verisimilitude He has a habit of dropping hunks of research into the narrative which I found annoying as well, although my husband didn t object He got a little confused about the dates of Ivan the Terrible, but it was probably a typesetter s error that placed some of his activities in 1854 By now you might be wondering why I even gave this book three stars and why it won the Edgar for Best Novel in 1989, beating out Tony Hillerman s A Thief of Time and works by K C Constantine, Thomas H Cook and David Lindsey The book did hold my interest, was well written other than the research lumps, and had engaging characters and a believable setting The plot Well, to avoid spoilers I won t say much, but the primary motivation for the murder which begins the book seemed less than believable to us.
I can t say for sure whether I ll read any of this author s work The police characters are intriguing, but the errors in Russian will probably continue to annoy me However, if you do not suffer from this handicap, you may very well enjoy the Porfiry Rostnikov series.
Published 1988 Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel A taiozhniki is a forest dweller There are Evenks in the taiga beyond the town who don t encounter civilization for years No one knows how many of them there are The government can t find them, keep track of them The forests have been theirs since God created man They named the river, Yensei, big river, a thousand years before we came There are Evenks nearby asked Rostnikov A few, from time to time, said Galich Even a shaman, name of Kurmu, though the government thinks there aren t any shamans left There are plenty of them Shaman s an Evenk word It means priest healer, not witch doctor Shamans are both religious figures and healers In some places shamanism has been wedded with Buddhism, particularly among the Buryats It s even been merged with Christianity among the Yakuts In this territory along the river, in the taiga and up to the Arctic Ocean it seems to have kept its base in ancient pantheism This last passage is very interesting given it was written in the mid 80 19s Now in 2015 American doctors do not agree on the impact of ticks bites Infectious disease docs maintain tick bourne illnesses like Lyme are acute and not chronic I know many people who suffer daily and have for years following tick bites for which they did not receive proper treatment.