Russian-U.S. peace is threatened when a galley worker part of a joint fishing venture is murdered. Exiled investigator Arkady Renko is pulled from a ‘slime line’ to investigate. Arkady’s investigation dredges up his past, secrets of the ships’ crews and espionage. Can he discover the truth without being dragged under by secrets?
Arkady’s mixture of insightful sarcasm, melancholy and understated compassion makes him a compelling character. A view of hazardous cold of Siberia, cramped dangers of shipboard life and life in Russia during the ending of the Soviet era are vividly shown through his eyes. Arkady uses visual metaphors to show his world. For instance, “in their [Soviet women] stolid frames were souls so romantic that they lifted like doves on the slightest breeze” (169). The victim’s secrets seem like an onion. Arkady discovers one motive for her being killed and then discovers another. Polar Star could be a match for those looking for a compelling protagonist, vivid look at Soviet Russia and/or a compelling mystery.
Want other books like Polar Star?
Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is caught between the demands of the KGB and a killer who seems to have a political message in Death of a Dissident by Stuart M. Kaminsky.
Captain Alexei Korolev‘s freedom is threatened when he determinedly seeks the truth behind an American woman’s murder in Moscow in The Holy Thief by William Ryan.
Books such The Strange Death of the Soviet Empire by David Pryce-Jones by look into the ending of the Soviet era.