This is Russia in the early 1950s, the last years of Stalin's life. A monster is on the loose and this heinous criminal is preying on children. The government does not understand or believe in serial killers, this cannot happen in their perfect society, so after each horrific crime, some poor soul is rounded up, tried and executed. The killer continues, unabated, until a young police investigator finally pieces it together but in an unexpected twist the officer's life quickly spins out control and he becomes a fugitive. This is thriller writing at it's very best. You will find yourself turning pages with a giddy mixture of anticipation and fear!
Arrives by Fri, Jun 5
About This Item
Stalin's Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where "crime" doesn't exist.
The Child 44 Trilogy
Grand Central Publishing
|Number of Pages|
Tom Rob Smith
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.00 x 5.25 x 1.25 Inches
Set in Stalins Soviet...
Set in Stalin's Soviet Union, Leo Demidov is a decorated war hero and member of the MGB. He believes entirely in the State. He has captured, interrogated, and sent hundreds to the Gulag's or worse destinations. He has a beautiful wife named Raisa, a nice apartment, and set his parents up with easy jobs. He will one day take over as head of his department and the last thing he believes is that the State would turn on him. But that is exactly what happened and Leo and Raisa find themselves exiled to a small village. Leo discovers the body of a murdered child, similar to one that he had covered up in Moscow. Thinking that solving the case will turn his fate, he sets out to find the murderer, inadvertently putting his family and friends at risk. This book is one of the reasons why I like Library Thing. I would never have picked this book out on my own. There is definitely suspense and it has everything in a crime thriller. The historical detail is well written and believable, and the characters draw the reader into the story. M I do have complaints about the ending - it didn't seem to fit - and that some of the action scenes felt too unbelievable and flashy. I am curious to see how the sequel reads
I read this book becau...
I read this book because of the hype on LT. People were so excited about it. I also like a good thriller/mystery and had enjoyed the Gorky Park series by Martin Cruz Smith. I have to say it was a good book, but for me it was also a major disappointment. From the blurb and the way people talked about the book I thought it was a thriller about a serial killer in Stalin's Soviet Union (SU) where crime was not allowed to exist. Instead it was mostly about the horror of Stalin's Soviet Union, and the murders and their detection seemed to be a minor part of the book. Not what I was expecting: Soviet Union = bad. Yeah, yeah, very unhappy reader. The writing was good, and the setting seemed to match what we in the West had heard of the SU. The characters didn't really grab me, which is also perhaps part of the problem. The story was not told how I expected, and its twist was obvious for most of the book. The subtext was interesting in that Leo Demidov the POV was an ardent Communist who supported Stalin and the torture, and even killing of innocents in the name of protecting the state. He had been a killer in the army during the war, and now he has become a state policeman, involved in more killing. The problem for him is when the child of a co-worker is murdered and the state decides its didn't happen - it was an accident. It makes him start to question their actions in the face of innocent suffering and grief. Because he is no longer in lock-step with the state's beliefs (it shows, though Leo tries to hide it). They attempt to bring him back by involving him in torture, and making him choose to sacrifice either his wife's life, or the ease of life for his aged parents. Leo makes the wrong choice and is excoriated. He eventually must flee and he tries to find trustworthy people to hide with, and officials to help him investigate the murders. He finds that many children have been killed and its still going on because the authorities refuse to acknowledge it. There is much sadness and violence and some who are innocent are killed. A major change happens in the S.U. and suddenly Leo is no longer wanted. The obvious killer is dealt with and Leo finds a place and tries to make amends. I am going to read book 2, and hopefully without any preconceived notions, I will enjoy it more than book 1.
The first chapter I fo...
The first chapter I found a bit disturbing and I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book. I kept reading and soon I wasn't able to put the book down. As you read through the book you have moments when you go "Oh" or "Ah" and the pieces to the puzzle start connecting and everything begins to come together. While you may figure things out, you find yourself having to read to see just how everything fits. Overall a great and fast read!
This is an accomplishe...
This is an accomplished debut novel, achieving the rare trick of maintaining the pace of a thriller and a sense of historical realism. The lead character, an MGB (forerunner of the KGB) agent has all his preconceptions challenged as his world is turned upside down when he is asked by his boss to denounce his wife as a traitor. Without giving to much away, he ends up on the trail of a serial killer of children. Throughout, Smith consummately conveys the fear and hopelessness of those enduring the Stalinist tyranny. The one weak spot in the novel is the really unbelievable (and unnecessary) "twist" right at the end, but don't let that put you off an absorbing, well-written and well-researched book.
Get specific details about this product from customers who own it.
Ask a question