|Plot Summary of Death of a Russian Priest|
Stuart Kaminsky is a successful American writer (of “The Rockford Files”
and two other mystery series) and his Inspector Rostnikov series is one of the best in
current fiction. With the inspector, we are given a thorough look at Moscow during and
since the fall of the Iron Curtain. However, Kaminsky's works are not political sermons,
as he aspires--and succeeds quite nicely--to portray his characters in real, human
reflections. In “Death of a Russian Priest,” readers find the venerable Inspector
(known as “Washtub” by his adversaries due to his penchant for lifting weights), sent to
Arkush to investigate the death of a local priest, one who was quite outspoken and one
whose death has created quite a commotion. Solving the priest's death is not as simple an
investigation as it appears and Kaminsky is up to the task as he brings in all the factors
and implications that such a death evokes: political, religious, social, and, quite
importantly in modern Russia, the criminal element. Kaminsky does not hesitate to show
the former Soviet Union in a serious (and chaotic) state. This is not the first in the
Rostnikov episodes. And in this one, Kaminsky stays with his “cast of characters”: the
rock-hard and incorruptibly devoted Karpo (alias “the Vampire”), Sasha Tkach, the
handsome yet vulnerable and sometimes impulsive “youngster” of the team, and
Rostnikov's wife among others.
As usual, there is more than one crime to be solved and by the book's end, all loose ends are
tied up. Rostnikov's wit, his intellect, his complete understand of the intricacies of modern
Moscow, and in particular the police department, make compelling reading. This series,
which continues, is perhaps one of the most intriguing around. It is not a series to miss, if
one is into a central character that is complex, humane, and at times possesses a clever
sense of humor. Kaminsky's writing style keeps the story line moving at an energetic pace.
And he certainly seems to grasp the real Russia today.
Bill Hobbs, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Death of a Russian Priest|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of story
- very upbeat
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
The crook is....
- criminal's rise in a crime organization
Mostly a criminal POV story
- government investigator
How much violence does he/she use?
- just the right amount
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- an organization
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- an average amount
Motive of antagonist
- Dirty, dangerous (like New York)
Part of a series?
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog