RED INK by Greg Dinallo
Kirkus Star


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Dinallo (Final Answers, 1992) doesn't stop once to catch his breath as his tale of modern Russia whisks readers from Moscow to Cuba and back to Moscow. Nikolai Katkov, an ex-alcoholic Moscow journalist, learns that an official named Vorontsov has been murdered and robbed of valuable medals. He submits a story on the crime to Pravda, only to see it rewritten by a staff member who deletes the most juicy detail -- a hint that the murder may have been tied to international organized crime. The trail of Katkov's continued investigation leads to a local gangster who guides the journalist through the Moscow underworld. While poking around, Katkov barely avoids a hit man's bullets. A tough, sexy US Treasury agent named Gabriella Scotto becomes interested in his search when she reads his article; it turns out that she is working on the same case. After perusing some of Vorontsov's personal documents, Scotto and Katkov discover a connection between the dead man and Michael Rubineau (short for Rubinowitz), a Russian-American racketeer/embezzler who is shipping two billion missing dollars to a Baltimore warehouse, from which it will ultimately be sent to Rubineau's resort in Cuba. The pair follow the loot, and Katkov discovers that his close friend Yuri and the reporter who mangled his story are both in on the scheme. Scotto and Katkov confront Rubineau with his crimes; after a lengthy shootout, Katkov returns to Moscow to settle accounts with Yuri. Although Yuri reveals that he saved Katkov's life several times, their friendship ends. The chemistry between Scotto and Katkov -- sexual but unconsummated -- gradually proves memorable. Suspenseful, fast-paced throughout, a surprising entertainment and a riveting read.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1994
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Pocket Books/Paramount