The novel bursts into action as Rostnikov is visiting his wife, Sarah, hospitalized in their home city of Moscow. The titular "walking bear" is a man who escapes from the mental ward and alarms the women in Sarah's room before the inspector succeeds in calming him (he then hints of thefts at the factory where he had worked). This strange event is but a prelude to crises impelling Rostnikov, with his comrades Karpo and Thach, through intolerable ordeals: a bus is hijacked by rebels conspiring to blow up Lenin's tomb; young lovers plan to murder a government official. Sharing in the overlapping investigations, the inspector joins in celebrating victory with his loyal officers when they prevent bloody deeds. But the triumph is Rostrikov's alone when he outwits the jealous KGB chief--and the reader--in a scene harking back to the walking bear. Kaminsky masterfully balances stories of family life, humorous anecdotes and riveting suspense involving his distinctive characters.
Original title: The Man Who Walked Like A Bear
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives