One of the charms of the Arkady Renko series of novels is that they tell you so much not only about Russia’s greatest cities, but also its regions, Tver oblast in “Three Stations” and now Kaliningrad in “Tatiana”. Kaliningrad is unique among Russian oblasts in being an exclave that borders on Poland and Lithuania, but not on the rest of the Russian Federation, and reading this book made me want to visit this unique and fascinating part of Russia. The back cover gives part of a review from the Washington Post that suggests the Tatiana on the title is modelled on Anna Politkovskaya. While true, admirers of the great Russian journalist who pick this book up thinking it will be a disguised biography of Ms. Politkovskaya or an account of her own brutal murder will be disappointed, as the journalist Tatiana Petrovna of the novel is a quite different woman who meets a quite different fate.
Dec 2, 2015