Books: Havana Bay

By Martin Cruz Smith

Arkady Renko, the admirable outcast cop of Gorky Park, is a man of northern mists and bureaucratic permafrost. What's he doing in Havana? And why does he walk the streets sunk in gloom, a parody Russian, wearing that heavy overcoat? One question at a time: Havana because he's looking into the death of a colleague (the Cubans, fed up with Russians, want him to identify the body and scram--but no, Renko investigates); the sweltering coat because it is a last gift from his wife, dead of medical bungling in Moscow. The story is all amiable, well-told bosh, ending with an attempted...

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