TITLE: RED SQUARE
AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ SMITH
PUBLISHER: RANDOM HOUSE; 418 PAGES; $23
THE BOTTOM LINE: This is a grand Russian cop opera for lowbrows, with the battered hero still standing at the end.
Red Square, the third adventure of Arkady Renko, the Russian detective of Gorky Park and Polar Star, touches the imagination in a powerful, brooding way that seems very Russian. Give or take Richard Price's Clockers, a story of New Jersey cops and dope sellers that has some of the same strengths, it may be the best thriller to appear in several years. But Edmund Wilson's contemptuous dismissal...