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Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Child 44 (original 2008; edition 2011)

by Tom Rob Smith

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3,0802061,842 (3.98)397
Title:Child 44
Authors:Tom Rob Smith
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Hong Kong Collection, Your library

Work details

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (2008)

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» See also 397 mentions

English (182)  Dutch (7)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  French (2)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
Sometime you have to give a book a second chans. I started to read the book last year but never finished it but a couple of days ago I thought "what the hell" I want to know the ending and I borrowed the book from the library again to pick up where I left it. I'm glad I did it, since the book actually is quite good. So, sometimes you just have to wait for the right moment to read a book... ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 11, 2014 |
This was the best thriller I've read in years. It was well researched and cinematically written. The characters were well-rendered and the action sequences were taut and believable. It's sure to be made into a movie especially with all the upheaval in the Ukraine and given that the author started as a screenwriter. I would give this book to anyone who likes mysteries, historical fiction, family drama, and books about serial killers. I think this book is ok for older teenagers but would recommend that parents pre-read. ( )
  SENSpence | Nov 23, 2014 |
This was the first thriller I've read in a long time and it make me want to read more. I forgot how exciting they could be.

Child 44 is a race through communist Russia that will leave your heart racing and wanting more. Good thing there is are more! ( )
1 vote sscarllet | Nov 20, 2014 |
Tom Rob Smith burst onto the scene in 2008 with his debut novel Child 44, which has gone on to sell millions of copies and win a host of awards.

Set in Stalinist Russia, Leo Demidov is a popular and loyal agent for the MGB, the State's Security Force. The state controls everything, from where you live to the food you eat and conditions are bleak. Anyone can be sent to the gulag or executed on the spot for the most trivial of infractions and many are arrested and tortured.

In performing his duties, Leo comes across the death of a boy found naked on a set of train tracks. Convinced he has been murdered, his family are desperate for the state to investigate, but Leo must convince them otherwise. Why? There's no crime in Russia. The citizens have everything they need, so there's no need to commit any crime. In fact, to suggest otherwise is a crime against the state.

Leo soon learns of similar cases across the country and becomes convinced Russia has a serial killer. Unfortunately his superiors won't listen, and Leo must decide whether to risk his life (and that of his parents and wife) to investigate or turn a blind eye and live.

The serial killer in Child 44 is based on the true crimes of Andrei Chikatilo, a Russian man convicted of 52 murders (committed between 1978-1990) and otherwise known as the Rostov Ripper.

The introduction to Child 44 takes place in a time of famine, and Smith's powers of description are impressive. The writing style is completely different compared to his latest novel The Farm (a contemporary thriller) which I've been recommending to anyone who reads.

Further evidence of its success, Child 44 is coming to the big screen next year in the hands of the legendary Ridley Scott and I can't wait.

The best news of all is that I'm currently in the process of interviewing author Tom Rob Smith, so stay tuned to my blog here for more: http://www.carpelibrum.net/ ( )
1 vote Carpe_Librum | Aug 21, 2014 |
This book was recommended to me as a real crime thriller.
I found it to be tedious and it was only about half way through that the story became interesting. It involves a MGB detective Leo, in the repressive early stages of the Soviet Union post WWII. The first half outlines the terrible life, the corruption, the living conditions under the Communists and Leo as a state policeman in Moscow is very much involved in questioning and persecuting citizens. But in a perfect soviet state, there are no crimes because everyone is equal. However, someone is murdering children and once Leo begins to uncover some details he is demoted and he and his wife are relocated to a small industrial town.
The pace and intrigue does pick up a little once they are relocated. But the story is weak and the killer's identity is a real nose stretcher. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Aug 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (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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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)

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