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Tom Rob Smith: Child 44


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Never has one book so completely captured every nuisance of a culture during a specific era in history as “Child 44.” Tom Rob Smith’s debut novel takes us to Russia in 1953. To a people controlled by fear. To a society where no one is exempt from the retaliation of the government; from the starving, desperate peasants to the well-supplied elite. To a place where your life hangs in the balance every minute of every day. Everything you think, say or do must be guarded to ensure your loyalty to the Party… and sometimes even all the taken precautions cannot save you. In the mist of this we meet Leo Demidov, who begins to doubt the veracity of the system that he has been a part of all his life when the crimes of what is obviously a serial killer are attributed to the most convenient person that can be apprehended. Through a series of events Demidov , a MGB hunter, becomes the hunted as he flees to be free long enough to prove that these crimes are being committed by one man that has not yet been captured. Each character in the astonishing novel is so fully developed socially, physical and psychologically that they are as alive to us as our own family and friends. Reading like a non-fiction account of Stalin’s Russia, a complex and captivating mystery/thriller and a dark and engaging true crime story that defies current book definitions, Tom Rob Smith may have very well started a new and exciting genre of book. If you only have time to read one book this year, do yourself a favor and make it “Child 44.”
Tom Rob Smith: 'Child 44'

Anyone read this one yet? It just came out last week, I think I'm gonna pick it up. The setting sounds just too good to pass up.
If all that Tom Rob Smith had done was to re-create Stalinist Russia, with all its double-speak hypocrisy, he would have written a worthwhile novel. He did so much more than that in Child 44, a frightening, chilling, almost unbelievable horror story about the very worst that Stalin's henchmen could manage. In this worker's paradise, superior in every way to the decadent West, the citizen's needs are met: health care, food, shelter, security. All one must offer in exchange are work and loyalty to the State. Leo Demidov is a believer, a former war hero who loves his country and wants only to serve it well. He puts contradictions out of his mind and carries on. Until something happens that he cannot ignore. A serial killer of children is on the loose, and the State cannot admit it.

To admit that such a murderer is committing these crimes is itself a crime against the State. Instead of coming to terms with it, the State's official position is that it is merely coincidental that children have been found dead, perhaps from accidents near the railroad tracks, perhaps from a person deemed insane, or, worse still, homosexual. But why does each victim have his or her stomach excised, a string around the ankle, and a mouth full of dirt? Coincidence? Leo, in disgrace and exiled to a country village, doesn't think so. How can he prove it when he is being pursued like a common criminal himself? He and his wife, Raisa, set out to find the killer. The revelations that follow are jaw-dropping and the suspense doesn't let up. This is a debut novel worth reading. --Valerie Ryan

Oops, didn't see the other thread about this one. Mods please delete.
I saw Child 44 at Barnes online and thought it looked good. I hope to pick it up at some point now that I've heard some good stuff about it.
Okay, I'm going to load this on the Kindle and let it fly.

OMG! I'm not the only one here with a Kindle! See Sparky? You gotta just do it!

I saw this book on Amazon and was tempted to DL it on my Kindle. Let me know how it goes.
I saw Child 44 at Barnes online and thought it looked good. I hope to pick it up at some point now that I've heard some good stuff about it.
I went in my B&N today and they had a huge display for this book, the publishers are really going all out on this one.
Definitely have to give the Kindle a chance. I'm loving mine. And the savings on book purchase will eventually catch up with the investment. Not to mention, saving all those trees.

(By the way, my 44 has nothing to do with the book 44. Just sayin')
Definitely have to give the Kindle a chance. I'm loving mine. And the savings on book purchase will eventually catch up with the investment. Not to mention, saving all those trees.

That's what I keep telling people. I love my Kindle too!! Wouldn't give it up for the world.
Still on the Kindle Kick, just started Child 44 which has a great opening line. we'll see how the rest of the story goes.
Just finished Child 44. This book is in my top five (that is top five read in the past 12 months.)

There are a few coincidences in the book that sometimes jar you out of the narrative in that they are a little too far-fetched, but forget that. The rest of the book is worth every minute of your time. The atmosphere, the graphic drama of the Soviet system circa 1953, and the internal struggle of the characters is among the best I've read. This story is dark in that there are so few pleasant moments that you're left begging for a ray of sunshine. Then again, that's how it was.

This book is worth the time and money.
It's amazing to see the response to this book, both her and in blogs. I was offered a copy of it prior to release but refused on the grounds that thrillers aren't what I want to read. I stand by it, but I'm stupefied by the power of the advertising machine behind it, given that it's a debut novel.
I read this book not because of the advertising machine, but because I was interested in the drama of the lead character, Leo. I got the bonus plan because the other characters are equally well-developed. Just my opinion, but this is what writing should be. The thriller side of the book is not the best part; it's Smith's ability to put you right there, right now. On top of that, Smith is not part of the "brevity cult" of 200 page novels that strain the broth so thin that there's no flavor.
Read a short article on it in Bookpage. The author is already working on a sequel of sorts and Ridley Scott has optioned the film rights to Child 44.