Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Russia is always freezing. Russia is changing and some of her children canít roll with the punches. The fourteenth Rostnikov mystery novel, Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express is filled with the uncertainty of life and the aftermath of change. Russia is filled with those who want to fill the hole left by the Soviets with hate and greed. Into this madness enters Porfiry Rostnikov and his assorted crew of Russian police detectives.
Porfiry has both personal and professional problems (and who doesnít) to deal with. There is a female serial killer stalking professional men in Moscowís underground train stations; his most solid detective is going off the deep end; and heís been assigned to travel the Trans-Siberian Express to go after an "historical" document, leaving a great gaping hole in the lives of his detectives, which no one but he can fill.
After reading this Porfiry Rostnikov novels, it becomes obvious why previous ones have won awards. Fast-paced, non-stock characters, lots of action for those who like that kind of book. Slower paced, intellectualized reading filled with logic puzzles and memory clues for those of the Holmes-persuasion. There is political intrigue, romance, and even an Oprah-like dysfunctional family plotline thrown in for a touch of American Talk Show drama.
Few books can manage to do something for everyone and please them all. Either you canít do some things and fail utterly or donít do them the way people accept them. Stuart Kaminsky deserves every award and accolade that heís ever received and more. Heís done the impossible and done it so well that you would think books of this sort are routine. We can hope that that they will be.