Arkady?s travails have followed the former Soviet Union?s uneven transition from the KGB and Cold War to the "New Russia" of black markets, poverty, and glitz. Wolves is a standard procedural mystery that starts with a white-collar crime - one thinks, anyway. Lest fans be disappointed, the book turns ugly soon enough. Critics agree that Smith?s look at the social, economic, and political landscape of the Zone of Exclusion?s eerie "black villages", the area surrounding the nuclear reactor meltdown of 1986, is first rate. Arkady, of course, is his usual darkly witty self. Other characters weigh in a little light, and the conclusion leaves some loose ends. But remember, this is the indefatigable Arkady, and he?ll march on, comrade or no comrade.