Hard Currency - Stuart M. Kaminsky - ebook

Hard Currency ebook

Stuart M. Kaminsky

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As a serial killer terrorizes Moscow, Rostnikov gets an assignment in Havana. The young girl leads her target into a park, planning on robbing him at knifepoint as soon as they are out of sight. But before she can strike, her quarry changes from a stooped middle-aged man to a feral beast, swinging a lead pipe with sadistic glee. By the time the police find the thief, her murderer is long gone. He is the first serial killer in Russian history, responsible for at least forty deaths, and his exploits send Moscow into a frenzy. And as his colleagues hunt for the pipe-wielding maniac, police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov must depart for Havana, to investigate a Russian politician accused of murdering a young Cuban girl. The Russian people may have abandoned Communism, but for their man in Havana, this case will prove a trip down memory lane. About the Author. Stuart M. Kaminsky (1934-2009) was one of the most prolific crime fiction authors of the last four decades. Born in Chicago, he spent his youth immersed in pulp fiction and classic cinema - two forms of popular entertainment which he would make his life's work. After college and a stint in the army, Kaminsky wrote film criticism and biographies of the great actors and directors of Hollywood's Golden Age. In 1977, when a planned biography of Charlton Heston fell through, Kaminsky wrote Bullet for a Star, his first Toby Peters novel, beginning a fiction career that would last the rest of his life. Kaminsky penned twenty-four novels starring the detective, whom he described as "the anti-Philip Marlowe." In 1981's Death of a Dissident, Kaminsky debuted Moscow police detective Porfiry Rostnikov, whose stories were praised for their accurate depiction of Soviet life. His other two series starred Abe Lieberman, a hardened Chicago cop, and Lew Fonseca, a process server. In all, Kaminsky wrote more than sixty novels. He died in St. Louis in 2009. Review quote. "Impressive. . . . Kaminsky has staked a claim to a piece of the Russian turf. . . . He captures the Russian scene and characters in rich detail." - The Washington Post Book World. "Quite simply the best cop to come out of the Soviet Union since Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko in Gorky Park." - The San Francisco Examiner. "Stuart Kaminsky's Rostnikov novels are among the best mysteries being written." - The San Diego Union-Tribune. "For anyone with a taste for old Hollywood B-movie mysteries, Edgar winner Kaminsky offers plenty of nostalgic fun . . . The tone is light, the pace brisk, the tongue firmly in cheek." - Publishers Weekly. "Marvelously entertaining." - Newsday. "Makes the totally wacky possible . . . Peters [is] an unblemished delight." - Washington Post. "The Ed McBain of Mother Russia." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

As a serial killer terrorizes Moscow, Rostnikov gets an assignment in Havana.

The young girl leads her target into a park, planning on robbing him at knifepoint as soon as they are out of sight. But before she can strike, her quarry changes from a stooped middle-aged man to a feral beast, swinging a lead pipe with sadistic glee. By the time the police find the thief, her murderer is long gone.

He is the first serial killer in Russian history, responsible for at least forty deaths, and his exploits send Moscow into a frenzy. And as his colleagues hunt for the pipe-wielding maniac, police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov must depart for Havana, to investigate a Russian politician accused of murdering a young Cuban girl. The Russian people may have abandoned Communism, but for their man in Havana, this case will prove a trip down memory lane.

About the Author

Stuart M. Kaminsky (1934-2009) was one of the most prolific crime fiction authors of the last four decades. Born in Chicago, he spent his youth immersed in pulp fiction and classic cinema - two forms of popular entertainment which he would make his life’s work. After college and a stint in the army, Kaminsky wrote film criticism and biographies of the great actors and directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. In 1977, when a planned biography of Charlton Heston fell through, Kaminsky wrote Bullet for a Star, his first Toby Peters novel, beginning a fiction career that would last the rest of his life.

Kaminsky penned twenty-four novels starring the detective, whom he described as “the anti-Philip Marlowe.” In 1981’s Death of a Dissident, Kaminsky debuted Moscow police detective Porfiry Rostnikov, whose stories were praised for their accurate depiction of Soviet life. His other two series starred Abe Lieberman, a hardened Chicago cop, and Lew Fonseca, a process server. In all, Kaminsky wrote more than sixty novels. He died in St. Louis in 2009.

Hard Currency

An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Mystery

Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2012 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1995 by Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Taylor Cloonan

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-346-6

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

To Jeff Rice

with thanks for

his friendship and advice.

Two Cubans lost in the jungle were kidnapped and tied to stakes while their native captors circled them shouting, “Ocha, Una, Ocha, Una.”

Suddenly the native leader approached the first Cuban and shouted, “Ocha, Una?”

“Ocha,” the Cuban guessed, and the entire tribe raped him.

Then the native leader turned to the second Cuban and shouted, “Ocha, Una?”

“Una,” said the second Cuban.

“Good,” said one of the natives. “First, Ocha. Then, Una.”

—A joke currently popular in Havana

Chapter 1

ILIANA IVANOVA ADJUSTED HER backpack, looked down Rusakovskaya Street, and went over her plan for robbing the bald-headed businessman who waited next to her for the bus.

It was a warm May afternoon, and there was no one else at the bus stop on Rusakovskaya Street but Iliana and the man, who wore glasses and carried an ancient briefcase. The man did his best to avoid eye contact with the girl. He shifted his briefcase from hand to hand, looked at his watch, examined the clear late-morning sky, and looked down the broad street trying to conjure up a bus.

Most Muscovites who were working were already at their jobs. Those who had no jobs were hustling the streets, standing in lines for food, brooding in their apartments, or going mad in the parks. Sokolniki Park was directly behind the bus stop. That was where Iliana Ivanova, who was known to herself and her friends as the Yellow Angel, planned to take the man. The park was vast—a fifteen-hundred-acre forest of ancient trees and clearings with restaurants and cafés, which were hardly ever open now.

The Yellow Angel was only a bit nervous. She had pulled off the same plan almost two dozen times since leaving Tbilisi six months ago, and not once—well, not counting the fat Armenian in Grozny—had any victim shown the slightest suspicion. The reasons were obvious. The Yellow Angel was almost nineteen but she looked no more than sixteen. She was thin with large breasts, a clear-skinned face with pink cheeks, and shoulder-length naturally blond hair. Her brown eyes were large and sincere. Dressed in jeans and a clean shirt, she looked like a schoolgirl, an impression she emphasized by the large book she always carried under her arm. The book was something about economics. She had tried to read it once when she was sick and recuperating in the shack of a widower outside of Petrov, before she came to Moscow and found Anatoli. The widower who had taken her in was probably fifty, Iliana had played the virgin for him, hating his farm smell, the coarseness of his palms, the little brown mole next to his nose.

She had managed to keep the man out of her bed for all but two nights by feigning sickness. When she left, Iliana had sorely wanted to smash his stupid potato face, but she contented herself with simply stealing what she could carry.

Tbilisi had been fine for most of her life. When she was fourteen, Iliana had moved out of the apartment on Chavchavadze Avenue she shared with her parents and younger brother. She had moved in with a dull-witted nineteen-year-old boy who worked in the Vlodima glove factory in Miskheta and gave her whatever she wanted that he could afford, which was very little. In return, she gave him a baby. Three weeks after the baby had come the Yellow Angel took the baby to her mother, who welcomed it and slammed the door on her daughter.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!