I should start by saying that i'm normally not a detective / crime novel kind of guy, but Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park Series has me totally hooked
Polar Star follows our hero, Arkady Renko, after he has essentially been exiled from Moscow by the KGB. He is working on the slime-line of a Soviet Factory ship which is buying fish from smaller, more skilled, American trawlers.
Like all Renko novels; there is a murder which he is to investigate. Like all novels, there is an attempted cover-up by everybody else and like all Renko novels, he persists when everybody is trying to force him not to.
What I love about this series (from what i have read) is the picture that Cruz Smith paints of life in Soviet Russia. It's as if he has been there and experienced it. In Wolves Eat Dogs, i have never read a better description (whether it be entirely accurate or not) of Chernobyl and surrounding villages. I just can't get enough of it.
The Gorky Park / Arkady Renko Series
Gorky Park *
Polar Star *
Wolves Eat Dogs *
*I have read these, and plan on reading the rest very soon.