An interesting tale, but I have trouble with writers who unwittingly create circumstances that are impossible, or terribly difficult at best. For example, our hero dives under the ice in a river, swims downstream and retrieves another man, swimming back upstream with him to the hole in the ice they both went through. Easy peasy, right? Wrong! Probably impossible. This sort of thing drives me nuts and distracts from the story. Too bad, otherwise a good listen.
This is a completely enthralling story, with superb writing and unrelenting tension and suspense. The reader was perfect for listening while driving since he read in a monotone that allowed one to hear every word without changing volume. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the years and this ranks as one of my very favorites. I can't wait for my wife to hear it and would recommend it highly to all.
This is one of my most favorite discoveries from Audible so far. It's an intricate mystery, an exciting suspense story, and a profound reflection on the nature of evil--both personal and societal.
I loved this book. I thought it was a gripping, suspenseful, story. It was well read and the characters were very interesting. I just had to know how it ended. I will definitely recommend it to other friends.
Although "Child 44" was written in 2008, I only just came across it. If you're a fan of Martin Cruz Smith's, "Gorky Park" or mysteries in general, I think you'll find this one fascinating and you won't want to put it down.
Mr. Smith changed the timing to the 1950's but, the story is based on a actual serial killer in Russia. Mr. Smith is a very clever writer and he holds the reader's attention from beginning to end. If you're interested in Russian history, you'll get a real feel for the time period and the affect that Stalin had on the country and its people.
I enjoy books that allow me to become vested in the characters and to get a real feel for the country. It's hard to believe that this is Mr. Smith's first book because he's created such a great story and the you can't help but care about what's happening to the people in it. If you don't know much about Stalin's Russia, this book will educate you as well as make you want to read some non-fiction to learn more about this difficult period. It was difficult it was to just survive day to day in this Russia where people had to watch their every word and action for fear of being thrown in prison for years. Political prisoners had it much tougher than hardened criminals. Day to day life was incredibly hard on people and standing up for a friend or family member could easily cost you your life.
I love a good mystery and Mr. Smith drew me into the story from page one and didn't let me loose until the final sentence. The psychological aspects of living in Stalin's Russia must have been devastating and long lasting. This is much more than just the story of serial killings.
There are nicely written twists and turns in the book that will keep you interested and you won't want to turn it off. The narrator, Dennis Boutsikaris, is wonderful and I can't imagine the story being told by anyone else. I'm looking forward to reading more from this wonderful author.
I found this listen dispiriting overall. I've listened to many thrillers/crime books, some overlty violent, some more psychological and inward-turning, some a combination. They are what they are--I get that. However, I simply found the ultimate premise here weak, disconnected from many events in the story. As others have noted, there was an abundance of brutality--it was too much for me, and that is not being a spoiler. I kept on (after having stopped for a few weeks after the first chapter) simply to work through it and perhaps hoping for a turn. I dislike quitting on a book and have only done so once before--still, not a rewarding read for me--obviously it was for others. Narration was very good. I was simply not engaged by the characters or their evolution.
This is a thriller unlike most you've spent time with. Set in the morally corrupt Stalinist era, this is at once a political lesson, a love story, and a story of virtue among the ruins of a failed society. The characters are well developed and the narration is very effective even if the accents can sometimes be annoying. excellent use of your time and money!
I listened to this a while back, so I am kind of rusty reviewing it. It was really, really good and I loved growth and changes we see in Leo and his wife. Set in newly communist Russia where the system shouldn't have any killings because 'the system" would prevent it, so the serial killings of children now up to 44, are being dismissed and ignored as other accidents etc. Leo, who is an ardent believer of communism and the system is forced to examine these crimes and ultimately forced to look at his wrong faith in communism as he uncovers each crime. The ending is shocking and he is led right into its trap! Read it!
Great pacing, excellent characters, involved though not too complex of a plot with a few nice twists. Narration was excellent – I have no idea of the accuracy of the Russian pronunciation however it sounded very authentic. I do not know how historically accurate a view of Stalinist Soviet Union it is – however I know enough that it is certainly believable. Kept me guessing right up to the last minutes.
Be warned it is an adult book with some very disturbing imagery – especially if you are a parent. There is also coarse, though relevant language throughout. Also remember it is a thriller so there may be some occasions where you need to let relax your believability criteria!
As an extensive audiobook listener this is one of the best I have heard.