A former journalist, Martin Smith added the name “Cruz” when he found out there were several other authors named Martin Smith. He is best known for Gorky Park, featuring Russian investigator Arkady Renko, which was later made into a movie starring William Hurt.

Arkady Renko series books by Martin Cruz Smith that I have read

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
1. Gorky Park (1981)

Polar Star by Martin Cruz Smith
2. Polar Star (1989)

Back of the book summary: He has made too many enemies. He has lost his party membership. Once Moscow’s top criminal investigator, he now toils in obscurity on a Russian factory shop working with American trawlers in the middle of the Bering Sea. But when an adventurous female crew member is picked up dead with the day’s catch, Arkady Renko is ordered by his captain to investigate an “accident” that has all the marks of murder. Up against the celebrated Soviet bureaucracy once more, Renko must again become the obsessed, dedicated cop he was in Gorky Park and solve a chilling mystery with international complications, in this vivid, heart-pounding thriller that never lets up.

Red Square by Martin Cruz Smith
3. Red Square (1992)

Back of the book review: Back from exile in the hellish reaches of the Soviet Union, homicide investigator Arkady Renko returns to find that his country, his Moscow, even his job, are nearly dead. But his enemies are very much alive, and foremost among them are the powerful black-market crime lords of the Russian mafia. Hounded by the terrifying new Russian underworld, chased by the ruthless minions of the newly rich and powerful, and tempted by his great love, defector Irina Asanova, Arkady can only hope desperately for escape. Fate, however, has other ideas.

Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith
4. Havana Bay (1999)

Back of the book review: When the corpse of a Russian is hauled from the oily waters of Havana Bay, Arkady Renko comes to Cuba to identify the body. Looking for the killer, he discovers a city of faded loneliness, unexpected danger, and bewildering contradictions. His investigation introduces him to a beautiful Cuban policewoman; to the rituals of Santeria; to an American fugitive and a group of ruthless mercenaries. In this place where all things Russian are despised, where Hemingway fished and the KGB flourished, where the hint of music is always in the air, Arkady finds a trail of deceit that reaches halfway around the world – and a reason to relish his own life again.

Arkady Renko series books by Martin Cruz Smith on my reading list

Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
5. Wolves Eat Dogs (2004)

Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith
6. Stalin’s Ghost (2007)