The back page says:
"Crimes: A naked bearlike man bursts into Rostnikov's wife's hospital room with a shocking story about a devil invading his shoe factory. Intrigued, Rostnikov investigates and plunges into a mysterious criminal scene of such depth that the chief inspector stoops to committing a crime of his own.
Coincidences: Meanwhile, a frantic woman tells headquarters of her own son's imminent felony against the poliburo...A Moscow bus and its driver mysteriously vanish...A man is found brutally killed...And an assassin arrives for work in Moscow.
Catastrophes: When coincidences turn into connections, Rostnikov, along with Karpo and Tkach, find themselves emneshed in a catastrophic conspiracy, as they follow a series of serpentine clues, like a lit fuse that winds its way to a time bomb called the KGB."
there is a terrific bond a reader develops for Rostinikov and Karpo. We feel a sad despair for Tkach and his plight. What fun twists and turns, what imagination for several unique types of crimes. The plodding and careful solutions are beautifully done. I love these characters, Kaminsky writes simply and with a flair for Russia that makes me wonder if he lived there. One critic said "It reads like a translation."