Arkady Renko is the literary creation of Martin Cruz Smith; he is also, in no small way, a reflection of his beloved homeland, Russia. Over the past 29 years, Renko has investigated murders during the Cold War, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Chernobyl, the war in Chechnya, and now in the new novel, Three Stations, during the rampant capitalism and mob wars that have swept Moscow since the oil oligarchy established itself. Renko remains an astute observer of human nature's baser instincts during the rise and fall and rise of his country, always maintaining a romantic fatalism while he uncovers corruption in whichever government is in charge this decade — he's Russian through and through. Martin Cruz Smith discusses and signs copies of Three Stations at 7 p.m. this evening at St. Louis County Library Headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-994-3300 or www.slcl.org). Admission is free.
Mon., Sept. 13, 2010