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

by Tom Rob Smith

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3,3912301,598 (3.98)440
Member:cchristians
Title:Child 44
Authors:Tom Rob Smith
Info:New York : Grand Central Pub., 2008.
Collections:Your library, South Austin Bookies Book Club
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (2008)

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» See also 440 mentions

English (205)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  All languages (231)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Real thriller with lots of surprise climaxes, but more importantly a convincing picture of a complete world: late Stalinist Russia, where everyone is out to eat the next man. Only the hero is, somewhat unrealistically, both part of the system and uncorrupted by it. Also at the end some humble people at the bottom of the heap have to have hearts of gold to give our hero a chance to win out. So there's a bit of paradox: the system corrupts everyone but some remain uncorrupted. For all that a thriller of high order with a fully fleshed out context relevant to more than just USSR. ( )
  vguy | Apr 1, 2016 |
A little rambling for my tastes. Too slow to keep me really moving through the pages and a bit predictable but not a bad plot. ( )
  add_dragon | Mar 26, 2016 |
The way it was to live in a closed society. People in Stalinist Russia could not trust anyone, including family and friends. Anyone could denounce you for no reason, just to better their own lot in life or to prevent themselves from being sent off to the gulag or executed.

Filled with plot twists, keep reading, all will come together in the end.

It was awarded the 2008 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the year by the Crime Writer's Association. ( )
  FAR2MANYBOOKS | Mar 25, 2016 |
7/18/2015 ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Honestly, I think that I must have read a different version of Child 44 than the other reviewers. Why this book is receiving these extremely high ratings is a mystery to me. I enjoyed the book, but it was far from a four stars plus rating.

While this book is about the capture of a killer, it is as much a political statement as it is a mystery. Think of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as if it were written as a murder mystery. From the opening chapter to its conclusion, Smith details the political and societal inadequacies of Stalinist Russia to the point that it becomes redundant. I found myself saying “I understand, enough already. I get it”. Even with the political short comings of the period, I felt that some of the events were an over dramatization and implausible. True or not, he failed to convince me.

The characters, all of them, lacked warmth, detail, any qualities that prevented them from being completely forgettable. They were simply a means to move the plot along. I anticipated the demise of some of them, but just didn’t care.
( )
  baggman | Feb 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:19 -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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