PETROVKA 38 by Julian Semyonov
Kirkus Star


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From the land of Crime and Punishment, a story in the genuine police-method genre, so popular here. It's bound to get attention, especially since the publishers are promoting it as, ""the first thriller to come out of the Soviet Union,"" and it did very well in England, too. Granted, it is easy to read a lot more into anything in print than was ever intended, but part of the reader interest in this book lies in the reality of background detail on which a police-method novel depends. Juvenile delinquency in the Soviet Union, the housing shortage, the strict stratification of Russian society and the general preoccupation with money and material comfort are major revelations and a bonus extra in this story of the five day tracking of a gang of young armed robbers who are also cop killers. The police chase and the gang's planning are alternated in a Russian rendering of Ed McBain's technique in the 87th Precinct stories. The title is the telephone number of Moscow Police Headquarters and... the book certainly rings the bell as the different detective novel of the year.

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 1965
Publisher: Stein & Day