This novel is an amazingly assured and exciting debut, set in Soviet Russia in 1953, with a wonderfully realised sense of all-pervading fear and the desperateness of a chilling race against time. How do you solve an impossible crime?MGB Officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses ...
This novel is an amazingly assured and exciting debut, set in Soviet Russia in 1953, with a wonderfully realised sense of all-pervading fear and the desperateness of a chilling race against time. How do you solve an impossible crime?MGB Officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses the horrific death of a young boy because he is told to, because he believes the Party stance that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is the perfect soldier of the regime.But suddenly his confidence that everything he does serves a great good is shaken. He is forced to watch a man he knows to be innocent be brutally tortured. And then he is told to arrest his own wife.Leo understands how the State works: Trust and check, but check particularly on those we trust. He faces a stark choice: his wife or his life. And still the killings of children continue...
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This is a great book and part of a trilogy. I haven't been this entertained since Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Smith weaves his tale with ease and really builds his characters. The plot has twists and turns along with intertwining the history of the era. You really get the feel of life in those times. I highly recommend it.
Mar 22, 2012
Chilling Child 44
This thriller is a classic: suspenseful and atmospheric.
Jul 22, 2009
Stalinist Russia where everyone is guilty by association. Absolutely fantastic book, and this by me who doesn't usually read this sort of book!
I chose this book in a last minute decision in a book shop where the offer was buy 3 get 1 free. However I was gripped from page 5 and simply loved it. I won't go into details of the book as other people have already done that.
I loved this book so much that the day I finished it I went and bought the sequel 'The Secret Speech' and although sequels are often not as good as the first, The Secret Speech is just as gripping, if not more so.
A really must have, must read book. Well done to the author, Tom rob Smith.
Jul 14, 2009
And we thought we had hard winters
A Stalinist Russia where everyone is guilty by association, and The State is always right. After a series of children are killed, Leo, a loyal MGB detective starts to realize that all may not be what it seems. As he is persecuted for trying to find the killer, his real story and his relationship with his wife unfolds. If he can prove who the real killer is, that means he would be saying all the "murderers" executed for their crimes would have been innocent, and The State would have been wrong. That is not acceptable. The hunter is hunted as he hunts the real killer.
Some great plot twists, and great imagery of a Russian winter.
Mar 26, 2009
Great twists and turns
Great book. Kept me guessing until the end. Read this book.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-03-03 Set in the Soviet Union in 1953, this stellar debut from British author Smith offers appealing characters, a strong plot and authentic period detail. When war hero Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a rising star in the MGB, the State Security force, is assigned to look into the death of a child, Leo is annoyed, first because this takes him away from a more important case, but, more importantly, because the parents insist the child was murdered. In Stalinist Russia, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. After attempting to curb the violent excesses of his second-in-command, Leo is forced to investigate his own wife, the beautiful Raisa, who's suspected of being an Anglo-American sympathizer. Demoted and exiled from Moscow, Leo stumbles onto more evidence of the child killer. The evocation of the deadly cloud-cuckoo-land of Russia during Stalin's final days will remind many of Gorky Park and Darkness at Noon, but the novel remains Smith's alone, completely original and absolutely satisfying. Rights sold in more than 20 countries. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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