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Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
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Child 44 (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Tom Rob Smith

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3,1042141,823 (3.97)410
Member:geemont
Title:Child 44
Authors:Tom Rob Smith
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2009), Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:mystery, historical fiction, novel, Kindle

Work details

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (2008)

Recently added byprivate library, Jeannees, Maurizio70, HColquhoun, michael.cox120, Rick__W, LizHD, jevanloon
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    zoti: A lot of the history of this book is repeated here but this is an incredible true story
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» See also 410 mentions

English (189)  Dutch (7)  German (5)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Danish (2)  Norwegian (2)  All languages (214)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
(A very high four stars). Am very happy to discover Tom Rob Smith. A serial murderer (who victimizes children) is running amok in a society which denies the continued existence of common crime...Some of the plot twists are a bit outrageous, but the story is so well done that it doesn't matter. ( )
  LizHD | Mar 25, 2015 |
This book is set in the 1950s Communist Soviet Union. Well written easy to read.
Main character is Leo Demidov he works for the Secret Police
He falls out of favour with the regime Leo and his wife Raisa are sent out to the countryside to keep quiet.

Leo is convinced there is a traveling serial killer murdering young children. His superiors aren't happy with him they get arrested and sent to the gulags, they escape en route and eventually track down the killer who happens to be Leo's estranged brother. The new Police regime now realise that Leo was correct all along. He gets promoted.
This is a good book. I will look out for the next book in this series. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Mar 2, 2015 |
To stand up for someone was to stitch your fate into the lining of theirs.

The country under Stalin is thing of perfection. Perfect control, perfect submission, perfect loyalty, a perfect government system that ensures that its people are cared for, the people are defended, and ultimately the people are uncorrupted by the influences of the West. Leo, a member of the MGB, a State police force that is feared and reviled at the same time, is a firm believer of this world view. Everything changes when a string of murders crops up all over the country. They all follow the same brutal ritualistic pattern and they are all children. Leo is faced with a choice. He will either ignore all the signs that the government he has served with a blind passion is flawed, or admit that things are not what they seem and become a traitor to the very country he has fought to defend.

Child 44 is like a roller coaster ride. The first half the book is this constant build up, the laying down of the foundations of a bleak and corrupt Soviet nation, filled with poverty and oppressed people who fear to speak, think, or act on the truth. Lots of characters are introduced without much explanation and the story moves along until climax of the story is reached and you are plunged down a steep slope of jaw dropping revelations. It is a thrill ride with plenty of twists and turns and just like some first experiences on the coaster, you are left feeling a bit sick to the stomach at the end of it all. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing Leo as a character develop and mature. Recommended. ( )
  jolerie | Feb 6, 2015 |
Not knowing much about Stalin-era Soviet Union I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I had read a little bit about the Gulag's, but nothing about the average person living at the time. This was exciting and fascinating at the same time. The story was riveting, but I'm not sure I liked the characters. I felt there was something a bit lacking in the explanation of the murders and what happened to Leo as a child. That sounds like a fascinating story too. I'll look into the next book for sure. ( )
  CinderH | Feb 3, 2015 |
Unremitting cruelty . David E said he couldn't put it down. I did finish this too-long book . I don't recommend it to anyone. At times the plot was laughable. I have visited the cruelties of Soviet / Stalinist Russia , unbelievable how terrible man can be. There are better books for me to spend my time. This was almost a waste of my time. ( )
  MaximWilson | Jan 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
On Page 275 of his tightly woven debut novel, “Child 44,” Tom Rob Smith reveals what the title means. The moment is a shocker — but its full effects can be felt only if you’ve read the 274 pages that precede it. This book is much too densely, ingeniously plotted for its secrets to be accessible via shortcut. ...

 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Rob Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bratbjerg Hansen, PoulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Correa, Beatriz HortaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garavaglia, AnnalisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güneş, GülizTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karjalainen, HeikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krogstad, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pardoen, IrvingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
From CD Case: "Stalin's Soviet Union strives to be a paradise for its workers, providing for all of their needs. One of its fundamental pillars is that its citizens live free from the fear of ordinary crime and criminals.

But in this society, millions do live in fear...of the State. Death is a whisper away. The mere suspicion of ideological disloyalty--owning a book from the decadent West, the wrong word at the wrong time--sends millions of innocents into the Gulags or to their executions. Defending the system for its citizens is the MGB, the State Security Force. And no MBG officer is more courageous, conscientious, or idealistic than Leo Demidov.

A war hero with a beautiful wife, Leo lives in relative luxury in Moscow, even providing a decent apartment for his parents. His only ambition has been to serve his country. For this greater good, he has arrested and interrogated.

Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal--a murderer--is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, his world turned upside down, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the State to suggest that a murder--much less a serial killer--is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife remaining at his side, Leo must find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists."
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446402389, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Robert Harris meets Gorky Park in Child 44, Tom Rob Smith's stunning thriller--sure to be one of the most talked about debut novels of the year"--Provided by the publisher.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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