Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith
Arkady Renko is an investigator in Moscow who is unofficially looking into the suspicious death of the reporter, Tatiana Petrovna. The official word is suicide, but Arkady begins to have doubts when the body turns up missing from the morgue and nobody has a clue where it is, nor do they really seem to care. Tatiana had a lot of enemies. She was a reporter who was not afraid to go after the truth regardless of the danger to her, and Arkady respects that. His own career has been tainted by his refusal to lie down and accept things he does not believe.
Arkady becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Tatiana after discovering tapes with Tatiana’s testimony discussing crimes that were covered up by Russian officials. After getting his hands on a notebook full of drawings and symbols written by a now dead translator, Arkady is led to Kaliningrad, a dangerous city hundreds of miles from the rest of Russia with the highest crime rate in the country.
Back home, his ‘adopted’ son, Zhenya, and his fellow chess playing girlfriend, Lotte, are working on cracking the code in the notebook. Arkady doesn’t know Zhenya and Lotte are being held hostage by Alexi, a newly minted mob boss, and that Alexi has given them 10 hours to figure out the code or they both will die.
What Arkady finds in Kaliningrad is the last thing he expected, but the only thing which can help him save Zhenya and Lotte, and preventing an even bigger crime.
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