Leo Demidov seems a good man but his past includes several years as an MGB agent, and that's a past that's very hard to live down. This dilemma is one of the strengths of this novel and the consequences felt more than dire when he voluntarily checks into a Gulag prison. What befalls he and his partner is gripping, even shocking, But the novel more or less fizzles following this high point, with a lot of angst and a trip into the center of the Hungarian revolt that seems a separate story.
After listening to Ron Perlman narrate the superb City of Thieves by Benioff, this narrator's handing of Russian accents comes off as slightly oafish, and generally unsatisfying.
Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.
While not without faults, "The Secret Speech" overall is gripping, moving, and educational and I recommend it enthusiastically to those who liked "Child 44."
Unlike the previous book it is not a mystery but an epic adventure that finds protagonist Leo Demidov on a seemingly hopeless quest that brings to mind the Myth of Sisyphus, the labors of Hercules, and Dante's Inferno. Dennis Boutsikaris again provides great narration, just as he did for "Child 44." If I were level criticism at it, I would say that "The Secret Speech" reached a point that seemed like a natural ending and then went on for several more chapters of what might have formed the basis of a whole separate book.
the suspense never lets up, cannot wait to read the next installment. the narrator is terrific. I recommend to whomever likes a thriller taking place in a country other than england or usa. tom rob smith is terrific.
If you love Russian history this is a great story and series. Leo is such a compelling and complex character. The details, the story line are so rich with detail and emotion.
I don't really think it is a book meant to provide entertainment or enjoyment. There is much to learn here in the way of the fairly recent history of Russia and the Eastern European Block, human frailty, and it also continues the story of Raisia and Leo and their family as part of the series started by 'Child 44'.
Yes. He writes well and knows how to tell a story. His research of the subject is well done.
I was most interested when the children and their feelings and responses to happenings were spotlighted.
When Leo and Raisia find out Zoya is alive and they go to find her and bring her home.
Narration was well done.
I liked Child 44 both for its somewhat over the top plot but also for the atmospherics of Stalinist Russia and the remarkable quality to understand and communicate life in a truly totalitarian state. A metaphor for all other such states and a reminder that intrusion that may mark current Western societies are faint reminders of what was a terrible and unforgiving state. BUT this book is so unremittingly grim, desolate, desperately post apocalyptic and fundamentally full of cruelty and horror - continuous and multilateral - that the plot doesn't hold per se and it was a struggle - one that I should have given up - to get to the end. Won't go on to listen to the last of the trilogy. He should have stuck to one and done.
Dennis B is one of the best narrators I have ever listened to. Whenever I listen to one of his narrations I feel like I am listening to an old friend. Having said that the book was also excellent. While not as good as the first in the series (child 44), it is pretty close! Once again, we follow Leo as he solves a new mystery. I have already listened to the last book in this series and am so sorry it has come to an end. I hope the author decides to write more one day.
I let six months pass after listening to CHILD 44 before I started this book as other listeners found it a disappointment.
I didn't. I enjoyed it very much. There were a couple of clunky moments but otherwise I was so emotionally invested in these characters I was desperate for a Happy Ever After.
Tom Rob Smith is an excellent author and Dennis Boutsikaris does a fabulous job narrating.
This is an amazing sequel because it acknowledges that people don't just "live happily ever after" as so many fabulous books would have you believe.
Definetly recommend that you read Child 44 before reading this book, as Child 44 is the first book and explains the characters and their motivations very well.