Title: Stalin's Ghost
Author: Martin Cruz Smith
A high-stakes tale set in Moscow follows the machinations of a group of reactionaries who harbor a nostalgic loyalty to the regime of Joseph Stalin and who plot to create a groundswell for a new dictatorship.
Moscow lies deep under snow, and Arkady Renko is on the trail of a suspect police officer, a former Black Beret who served with glory against the insurgency in Chechnya. But proof of the man’s corruption is proving more elusive to gather. Then Renko’s unpopular boss calls him in to handle a delicate matter: passengers riding the last metro of the night have reported seeing the ghost of Stalin waving to them from the platform edge. Every night at the same time, regular as clockwork. Meanwhile, his adopted son, Zhenya has disappeared, and his girlfriend, Eva, has reignited an affair with the very officer Arkady is investigating. Renko is assigned the help of an expert Stalinist, a decorated war hero and chess grandmaster. Not everyone, it seems, likes the fact that Stalin is dead…Not only an original and deeply humane thriller, “Stalin’s Ghost” is also a wonderful evocation of the emerging New Russia where only too often the troubles of the present erupt into double-cross, murder and grand chess stratagems…