HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Loading...

Child 44 (original 2008; edition 2011)

by Tom Rob Smith

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0012041,901 (3.98)390
Member:jdayrutherford
Title:Child 44
Authors:Tom Rob Smith
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Hong Kong Collection, Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (2008)

  1. 10
    The Industry of Souls: A Novel by Martin Booth (bnbookgirl)
  2. 10
    Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland (stembrook)
  3. 10
    Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag by Janusz Bardach (zoti)
    zoti: A lot of the history of this book is repeated here but this is an incredible true story
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 390 mentions

English (180)  Dutch (7)  German (5)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  French (2)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
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 |
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! ( )
  sscarllet | Jul 1, 2014 |
What an outstanding debut novel. One of the keys to successful writing (in my opinion) is to tell a compelling story! It's that simple, people, and wow, what a compelling story Smith weaves in this book.

Based upon a true story, the underlying premise is about a child murdering serial killer, but the primary story is about Leo, the book's protagonist, who tries to solve this case in Stalinist Russia. Smith was able to set such a mood in this book about how it felt to live in the Soviet Union after WWII that I found myself getting paranoid for no reason. This book is much more than an ordinary thriller-suspense novel; it is gripping, historical fiction that includes a true crime element that is rare for this genre. In addition, Smith tells the story in a fluid, logical way, where the reader doesn't have to suspend her disbelief in order to buy into the plot.

Overall, I highly recommend this book, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. ( )
1 vote Hanneri | May 21, 2014 |
A good thriller, well written but is it 'one of the top100 thrillers of all time'?. The plot is well made but don't forget the focus here is on the nature of Stalinist Russia rather than the crime itself. Depends how much you like Russian history.... ( )
  polarbear123 | Apr 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents
First words
Since Maria had decided to die her cat would have to fend for itself.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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."
Haiku summary

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

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.98)
0.5 1
1 10
1.5 2
2 32
2.5 20
3 165
3.5 88
4 438
4.5 100
5 266

Audible.com

Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,671,008 books! | Top bar: Always visible