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Child 44 | Paperback

Released on 01 February 2009

Author: Tom Rob Smith | Format: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 (6 customer reviews) | Write a review

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In Stalin's Soviet Union, crime does not exist. But still millions live in fear. The mere suspicion of disloyalty to the State, the wrong word at the wrong time, can send an innocent person to his execution. Officer Leo Demidov, an idealistic war hero, believes he's building a perfect society. But after witnessing the interrogation of an innocent man, his loyalty begins to waver, and when ordered to investigate his own wife, Raisa, Leo is forced to choose where his heart truly lies. Then the impossible happens. A murderer is on the loose, killing at will, and every belief Leo has ever held is shattered. Denounced by his enemies and exiled from home, with only Raisa by his side, he must risk everything to find a criminal that the State won't admit even exists. On the run, Leo soon discovers the danger isn't from the killer he is trying to catch, but from the country he is trying to protect.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (6 reviews)


| | See all BrookJones's reviews (4)

I wasn't a big reader before this book but got it recommended and I love it. It's very well written and a great story. 5/5 all round.

 an excellent read

| | See all AnnaEm's reviews (1)

this book really will keep you up, he captures the tense and scary atmosphere brilliantly, the fear is palpable and when you think you know where the book is going there is always a twist you weren't expecting which makes you want to read on. so believable and based loosely on a true story which makes it all the more troubling but brilliant.

 Child 44 - tom rob smith

| | See all brent218's reviews (13)

Child44 is the 1st book by Tom Rob Smith, and in it, he captures the grittyness of the time, the fear of being denounced, be it by your work mates if they wanted your job, by your neighbours if you didnt get on with them, basically in Stalinist Russia -when this book is set, you could be denounced at anytime by anyone famliy member or stranger alike,

The book follows the life of Leo Demidov and his wife Raisa, now I'm not going to give you a blow by blow description of the plot line and risk spoiling what was a very well written and enjoyable book, all I will say is that the author manages to bridge that gap that some authors dont even see, between reader and book, be it the descriptions of the and feeling of paranoia that the book conveys so well, Or the way it grips you and draws you in, If there was a bad thing I had to say about this book its that it wasnt long enough lol either that or I should have paced myself lol rather than reading over the space of a couple of days

Ive not read much cold war fiction, infact I think it would be fair in saying that this is the first one, and even though it can be tough going, its rewarding and ultimatly very satisfying and while you may think you know where the story is going trust me its not where you think.....

child44 is a muder mystery / thriller in the classic sense of the silver screen, its got all that you'd need for a rip roaring family denouncing good time, you've the reluctant hero, his wife and their life all get cast into the wind, and all the time laws are being broken in the quest for the truth -laws which could get you executed or worse you could be sent to the gulags in siberia.

its a murder mystery which is set at a time when murder isnt just illegal and not allowed, its denied being recognised as happening full stop. can Leo Demidov the loyal MGB Officer, save more innocent lives by putting his own life and that of his wife Raisa at risk?

read the book and find out its worth it!

 A real page turner

| | See all bowsie1's reviews (125)

Top 100 Music Reviewer

Stalinist Russian Thriller...... no, come back!!! Quite simply one of the best thriller's written in the last few years. Totally unputdownable and perfectly written - fast paced and characters that you instantly buy into. Highly recommended


| | See all MBBarlow's reviews (3)

Child 44 tells the story of Leo Demidov and his search for a child killer during Stalinist-era Russia and I can't claim to know anything about this era. At all. I can claim to have heard of Joseph Stalin but that is about it. Once I had finished this novel I did something that I had nothing done before: I went online and ordered a book about surviving the Russian GULAG system, having my interest wetted by this book. The way Tom Rob Smith writes is fast-paced and action-filled, like a contempory crime novel would be written and how he manages to transport that style into an era that is so archaic so make myself gasp is incredible. He is writing popular fiction but setting it somewhere that threatens to alienate the normal casual reader, but it so doesn't do that.

The era itself is incredibly barbaric. Stalin would have people sent for exucation for the most simple of things. "Political prisoners" were deemed far worse than murderers and rapists, people who wrote texts daring to critisise any part of the regime were sent to prison or exucated, the latter being preferable for many as the prisons were total hard labour, things designed todestory your spirit before it did your body.

It's all very bleak and depressing but manages to be very entertaining as we read Leo's attempts to capture this killer, during which he loses his high government position, almost dies many times and undergoes torture.

You don't need to know anything about the era or anything about Russia for that matter, I certainly didn't, but after reading this you may find yourself wanting to know more.

Only problem was Rob Smith's penchant for using a simple dash at the beginning of sentences rather than proper dialogue lines. I got used to it but at the beginning it was very disconcerting. That aside I can't recommend it more.

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AuthorTom Rob Smith
PublisherSimon & Schuster Ltd (United Kingdom)
FormatPaperback - 480 Pages