After seven years of chronicling the affairs of Chicago cop Abe Lieberman, Hollywood shamus Toby Peters and Sarasota process server Lew Fonesca (The Dead Don’t Lie, 2007, etc.), Kaminsky returns to Moscow.
This volume revisits estimable Chief Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, who’s been dealt a cold case indeed—one that sends him to Siberia. In an old Siberian diamond mining town, strange and violent events are allegedly accompanied by a certain supernatural manifestation. Allegedly, my foot, chorus the locals. Dating back to the last century, a “little ghost girl” has been seen at least nine times by survivors left quaking in her wake. Hmm, says Rostnikov with patented unflappability: “She killed people?” The reply: “Let us say she was proximate when people died.” Meanwhile, Fyodor Andreiovich Rostnikov is the half-brother from whom the detective has been estranged for 22 years—a half-brother and a suspect in a complex case involving murder, diamond smuggling, kidnapping and related malfeasances that the Porfiry Petrovich has been ordered to solve in nine days.
Suffers a bit from subplot glut, but it’s good to have the old campaigner, who looks like a bear and thinks like a fox, astutely sifting clues again in Kaminsky’s 54th novel.