Detective Arkady Renko had to flee Moscow after his big case offended too many people in high places. That was in the 1981 book, Gorky Park. Polar Sar (1989) finds Arkady on a factory ship in the Bearing Sea. He works on the slime line gutting fish for the freezer. At least he is out of the reach of the KGB.
His life changes the day a net load of fish is dumped with a dead woman in the catch; a woman from their own ship. The net of fish came from an American trawler, one of four that provide the factory with its product. At first, Arkady refuses to investigate, knowing it would bring unwonted attention to him. Slowly, his abilities return and he is once again in search of the truth.
Smith loves to weave together complex plots that leave we readers wondering if even Arkady can unravel it. But he does.
Always a good read.