RARA-AVIS: Contemporary Russian Crime Novels

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 11 Jan 2002


Re your question below:

> . . . I imagine
> if a Russian police inspector wrote about his real
> life experiences
> investigating murders in Moscow in the '80s, part of
> me would be skeptical
> if it was nothing like "Gorky Park". Speaking of,
> does anybody know of
> Russian crime novels, by Russians, that are
> available in English?

There're a number of Russian-written police procedurals. One of the first to be published in the US (predating both Cruz Smith and Kaminsky by several years) was Julian Semyonov's PETROVKA 38. Petrovka 38 is, if memory serves, the address of Moscow police HQ, roughly the equivalent of Scotland Yard in London, Quai d'Orfevres in Paris, or 1 Police Plaza in NYC. Semyonov has since become a moving force in the International Assn of Crime Writers.

Fridrick Neznansky (a former Soviet police officer) and Edward Topol (a former Soviet journalist) collaborated on two Moscow-set police novels, DEADLY GAMES and RED SQUARE (not to be confused with Cruz Smith's similarly titled novel). Neznansky has written at least one solo cop novel, THE BODY IN SOKOLNIKI PARK. Topol has also written at least one cop novel on his own, RED SNOW.


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