In the tradition of City of Thieves and Child 44, a troubled World War I veteran races across the frozen steppe of 1930's Ukraine to save a child from a shadowy killer with unthinkable plans.
Luka is a war veteran who now wants nothing more than to have a quiet life with his family. His village has, so far, remained hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality. But everything changes the day a stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo. When the villagers’ fear turns deadly, they think they have saved themselves. But their anger has cursed them. In the chaos, a little girl has vanished, and Luka is the only man with the skills to find the stolen child and her kidnapper in these frozen lands. Besides, the missing girl is the best friend of Luka’s daughter, and he swears he will find her. Together, with his sons, Luka sets out across lands ravaged by war and gripped by treachery. Soon they realize that the man they are tracking is no ordinary criminal, but a skillful hunter using the child as bait in his twisted game. It will take all of Luka’s strength to battle the harshest of conditions and all of his wit to stay a step ahead of Soviet authorities. And though his toughest enemy is the man he tracks, his strongest bond is a promise to his family back home.
©2013 Dan Smith (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I normally listen at about 1.5x speed, but after a few chapters of The Child Thief -- I wanted to savor every bit of this story and switched to 1.0x...
From then on, it just got better and better. Bronson's performance here makes me think there should be an Academy Awards category for audiobook performances.
"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
I stumbled upon this book because I'm a fan of Bronson Pinchot - the narrator - and I'm happy I did. This book has all of the action, suspense, character development, tragedy, and .... you get the point.
The story builds slowly. It is based in post war Ukraine, the story of a war veteran who, after a gruesome discovery, is taken on a brutal journey across the steppe to find his kidnapped niece. What evolves is a game of cat and mouse set against the dramatic political background that enveloped the blood lands after WWII. It is the story of how good men can do bad things; and how bad men can also do much good.
My wife thought the book was too slow, and in parts, that might be true. But the story has depth, as good books often do.
Secondly, Bronson Pinchot was amazing. He does narrate the book in a heavy Ukrainian accent and is soft spoken, almost in the way I would imagine a weathered, battle scarred veteran of this time and place might have spoken. It took a few minutes to get used to, but was masterfully done.
I can't say I actually enjoyed this book. It made me thankful for all I have and have ever had, and for things I will, hopefully, never experience.
I could not stop listening, because I had to know what happend to the child, and the family.
I have heard other books by Bronson Pinchot, and I have to say, once I got past the thick accent, this was a magnificent piece of acting. He made you feel his characters' feelings and hear the emotions in their voices. Not just reading, but full-out acting.
It was depressing, but in a good way, if that's possible. Grim is a good word. Anyone looking for a happy story--this isn't it.
FIVE STARS!!!!! I don't give a 5 star rating easily but this novel is a gem that I enjoyed, marveled over, took pearls of wisdom about life from, and was sad to see it end. I can tell you without ant hesitation that this is one of the best books I have listed to and read!!!~ (immersion reading) Characters, plot, location, you name it and it was all there. I am not going to go into detail about the specifics, but to say read all the positive reviews and believe what they say. I was sad to see this book end, but the characters and events will stay with me. To me that is the sign of a meaningful novel that is well told. Narration is excellent after I had it play a 1.5 time. The original speed was a little too slow for me. Other than that read it!!!!
Yes. It was uplifting to the spirit.
The story never lulled.
Perhaps the finest reading of any audiobook I've ever heard. Simply amazing.
Many powerful moments. However it was the ending that was most moving.
This was a random read for me. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I've been suggesting it to every reader I meet.
I took a deep breath at the very beginning and didn't exhale until the end of the book. Not for the faint of heart. Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Narrator couldn't be better. I felt as though I was listening to the main character tell his story with every bit of emotion from scene to scene. You will not be disappointed. See other reviews for more detail if you want or just trust and download and listen.
Like many readers I enjoy a good thriller and I’ve listened to many genres—lots of bang and chase; government espionage and spy tales that seem to be from today’s world news Yet, I don’t understand why this book has not received many more reader reviews.* The Siberian setting is totally barren—but not the story. The main character, Lutka, becomes a man on a mission, struggling through the isolation of deep drifts and scattered stands of snow-heavy trees. The landscape is a character in and of itself. However, the story is never barren. I found myself forging through the snow and blood trails. I can’t describe the mystery without spoiling the story, but I can safely say that this is a non-stop thriller of the highest order and I can’t forget it.
*I think that the problem might be the similarity between book titles—both promoted on Audible at the same time—“The Book Thief” and this book “The Child Thief”. I read both but consider Smith’s book to be literature!
Yes. At first the accent took a bit of getting used to, but really made the story ring true. It was an important component of feeling the characters brought to life.
This is a unique story, with a unique setting. it is difficult to compare it to other books.
Not so much a scene but the setting. It was a character unto itself.
This is a very interesting listen, not a mystery so much as a thriller. At parts exciting and sad, but keeps you guessing. This is worth a listen.
I enjoy science-fiction, history, science and human affairs.
A father and his sons search for a kidnapped cousin becomes increasingly frightful as the odds continue to mount against them.
Really, the only thing that separates this from an ordinary pulp-fiction thriller is that it's set in 1930s Ukraine, but even that really isn't explored very much. Sure, there are set pieces of soldiers and prison, but they really seem to have little effect on the characters or the action. It could have as easily been set anywhere else......for a better mystery that makes the same setting a real piece of the characters' lives, try Child 44 - this is just a weak imitator.
Take a crazy serial killer, throw in a bit of cannibalism and snow, and package it with average writing quality and this is the result. It's fine, but it's hardly something to get excited about, IMO.
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