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The Child Thief: A Novel | [Dan Smith]

The Child Thief: A Novel

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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (195 )
5 star
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4.4 (179 )
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  •  
    Carol Elk City, OK, United States 05-02-14
    Carol Elk City, OK, United States 05-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    228
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    Story
    "I will never forget this book . . ."

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Minot Scituate, MA, United States 10-16-13
    Minot Scituate, MA, United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Narration!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Child Thief to and why?

    This is a unique story, with a unique setting. it is difficult to compare it to other books.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not so much a scene but the setting. It was a character unto itself.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Waverly, IA, United States 09-30-13
    Andre Waverly, IA, United States 09-30-13

    I enjoy science-fiction, history, science and human affairs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bleak, yet hopeful"

    A father and his sons search for a kidnapped cousin becomes increasingly frightful as the odds continue to mount against them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julie0 waterford, MI, United States 10-15-14
    julie0 waterford, MI, United States 10-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    72
    13
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    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Dark, slow and depressing"

    This book was well written and the narration is outstanding. However, it is a dark and depressing tale that I did not enjoy. I almost stopped listening to it and couldn't wait for it to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PAR-TEE 07-26-14
    PAR-TEE 07-26-14 Member Since 2012

    Bongoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    101
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    "EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT"

    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!!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shoe maven 04-27-14
    shoe maven 04-27-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    521
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    "unrelenting sadness…..."
    What would have made The Child Thief better?

    This is a good book in that the writing was compelling, as were the characters. But the amount of sadness and violence the characters endured was too much for me. The constant struggle to be human in a world of inhumanity was a theme of the story. In light of all that, the ending was not believable. The reader was great-- and he emanated the sadness of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I did learn how people in small villages during times of war and social upheaval had to live.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 04-23-15
    Peter 04-23-15 Member Since 2015

    An Editor living in NYC. I grew up listening to Radio Plays and have found a love for audiobooks and podcasts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
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    "Highly Recommended"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child Thief?

    Without spoiling too much, the stand off with the Sniper on 2 separate occasions really stuck with me. Very taut and suspenseful.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    The main character, Luka. Bronson's accent was pitch perfect and really brought me in to the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    If the cold won't get you...


    Any additional comments?

    I've been recommending this to anyone within ear shot and will probably re-read it in the near future. SO GOOD

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer CRANBERRY TWP, PA, United States 04-17-15
    Amazon Customer CRANBERRY TWP, PA, United States 04-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book, Pinchot Excellent"

    Was bored a lot, but not enough that I regret listening. Could have been a lot worse without Balky...err... I mean Bronson =)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Norman, OK, United States 03-10-15
    Sandy Norman, OK, United States 03-10-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    47
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    "Loved it!"

    This book was not my usual "style" but I really enjoyed it. It had a lot of twists and turns and kept my interest. In the audible version, the narrator is awesome. It was written in the first person and the narrator did a great job living the story! Many kudos.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blpb 03-05-15
    blpb 03-05-15
    ratings
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    37
    3
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    "Best read book I've listened to"

    Beautifully read. Good story. Too much repetition in the dialogue that didn't provide any additional depth. Provided a good understanding of what the people of Russia went through after the revolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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