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The Secret Speech | [Tom Rob Smith]

The Secret Speech

Soviet Union, 1956: Stalin is dead. With his passing, a violent regime is beginning to fracture - leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. The catalyst comes when a secret manifesto composed by Stalin's successor, Khrushchev, is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant and a murderer. Its promise: The Soviet Union will transform.
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Publisher's Summary

Soviet Union, 1956: Stalin is dead. With his passing, a violent regime is beginning to fracture - leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent.

The catalyst comes when a secret manifesto composed by Stalin's successor, Khrushchev, is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant and a murderer. Its promise: The Soviet Union will transform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget Stalin's tyranny so easily and demand revenge of the most appalling nature.

Meanwhile, former MGB officer Leo Demidov is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his involvement in the murder of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.

©2009 Tom Rob Smith; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (10 )
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 (6)
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4.1 (8 )
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    "unknown" Cairns, Australia 10-02-11
    "unknown" Cairns, Australia 10-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the secret speech"

    great book, you want to keep reading just to find what is happening next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Duncan
    Oval, United Kingdom
    5/26/12
    Overall
    "Sadly not a match for Child 44"

    As a sequel to the excellent Child 44 ,The Secret Speech was a disapointment. The whodunnit (or whoisit?) element that worked so well in the first book was missing here, and I often found myself tuning out of lengthy passages of description or action that weren't as gripping as they could have been. A shame, as there were elements such as the criminal gang structures and activities that made for interesting listening - but not enough for more than 3 stars.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Evers
    UK
    6/26/10
    Overall
    "What a shame"

    Having enjoyed 'Child 44', I was most disappointed by this title. I agree with the other reviewers about the stilted and slow narration, which certainly doesn't help one's enjoyment - but more to the point is the fact that the plot is completely ludicrous and over the top. It's as though the author wants to pack in as much action as he can - the net result is that it all becomes completely unbelievable and, if anything, boring.

    Isn't it true that so often second books are a real let down?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jill
    Roermond, Netherlands
    10/14/09
    Overall
    "Not bad, but not the best"

    I didn't enjoy this book as much as Child 44 which I thought was an excellent and well-narrated story. It is certainly action-packed, but I found some of the plot developments rather hard to swallow. My main gripe, however, is the narrator, as mentioned by another reviewer. All those strange pauses in the middle of sentences eventually proved to detract from the story itself, and in the end made finishing the book rather a trial.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Cambourne, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
    4/28/09
    Overall
    "Engrossing thriller"

    As good as his first book, but far more emotional.
    The action sequences can feel a bit un-ending at times, and like the first book I suspect there will be some critisism of his "Dicken's" like approach to co-incide driven plot.
    But overall; Intelligent - grown-up - engrossing - thrilling - fascinating - very violent - great dramatic - great dialogue - unpredictable plotline - life affirming - tragic - cliche and stereo-type free writing.


    But still, my joint favourite read of 2009. (Child 44 was my other favourite.)

    I hope there will be more of Leo, though I cannot imagine how his story can be developed further ... but then I couldn't have imagined this fantastic story either.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Bath
    5/31/09
    Overall
    "great book poor narrator"

    Because i loved Child 44 so much I bought this without listening to the reader. I found him too slow and his style of reading broke my attention away from the book. So make sure you are ok with the narration before you buy.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
    7/15/10
    Overall
    "Excellent sequel"

    Not quite up to the same standards as 'Child 44', but still a very enjoyable listen. This book seems to have a few more action sequences in it; not a bad thing in itself but one cannot help thinking it may be in order to increase it's movie appeal since, at the time of writing this review, 'Child 44' is a soon-to-be released film. I think The Secret Speech may have been written as a sequel to the movie and not as a sequel to the original book. A shame, but I suppose understandable.

    I recommend this book highly as I found it a well-narrated and interesting listen, with the only negative criticism coming when comparing it to it's deeper and more intelligent predecessor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • a
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Appalling performance"

    Dreadful narrator made worse a dreadful sequel.
    Not a patch on child 44
    Should I bother with the 3rd?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms Patricia O'Donnell
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good follow up to Child 44 but not quite as good"

    I would recommend this book as narration is excellent, background is fascinating if plot is not as strong as Child 44.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    7/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Will it ever end?"
    What would have made The Secret Speech better?

    The story bored me, not gripping like child 44..


    Would you recommend The Secret Speech to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. I recommended child 44 but have advised against this book.


    What didn’t you like about Colin Mace’s performance?

    In child 44 using a narrator with an accent made it much better, this man was irritating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Derby, United Kingdom
    6/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spoiled by narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator, Colin Mace sounds bored reading the book, it is very slow with quite large breaks and a lack of feeling for the main character that was developed so well in Child 66 by Stephen Pacey.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It is difficult to say as the narrator sucked all personality out of the characters


    Would you be willing to try another one of Colin Mace’s performances?

    No


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I though Child 66 was such a good book so I then bought the remainder of the series, I think that I may come to regret this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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