THREE DECADES. TWO MURDERS. ONE CONSPIRACY
WHO IS AGENT 6?
Tom Rob Smith's debut, Child 44, was an immediate publishing sensation and marked the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction. Named one of top 100 thrillers of all time by NPR, it hit bestseller lists around the world, won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In this spellbinding new novel, Tom Rob Smith probes the tenuous border between love and obsession as Leo Demidov struggles to untangle the threads of a devastating conspiracy that shatters everything he holds dear. Deftly capturing the claustrophobic intensity of the Cold War-era Soviet Union, it's at once a heart-pounding thriller and a richly atmospheric novel of extraordinary depth....
Leo Demidov is no longer a member of Moscow's secret police. But when his wife, Raisa, and daughters Zoya and Elena are invited on a "Peace Tour" to New York City, he is immediately suspicious.
Forbidden to travel with his family and trapped on the other side of the world, Leo watches helplessly as events in New York unfold and those closest to his heart are pulled into a web of political conspiracy and betrayal-one that will end in tragedy.
In the horrible aftermath, Leo demands only one thing: to investigate the killer who destroyed his family. His request is summarily denied. Crippled by grief and haunted by the need to find out exactly what happened on that night in New York, Leo takes matters into his own hands. It is a quest that will span decades, and take Leo around the world - from Moscow, to the mountains of Soviet-controlled Afghanistan, to the backstreets of New York - in pursuit of the one man who knows the truth: Agent 6.
©2011 Tom Rob Smith (P)2011 Hachette Audio
Points off for a lack of plot twists, turns and surprises (there's only a slight veil of a mystery surrounding "whodunnit" in this one). But this slight lapse is more than made up for by the author's strong, deep and fully fleshed-out character development as well as the arc of the main character's journey of discovery. The book spans decades, so we get to see Leo as a young, sharp secret police agent, as well as a "consultant" in Afghanistan who has hit rock bottom. This book is a good read, artfully done. I enjoyed it as much as the first Leo Demidov thriller, Child 44, and even more than the second one, The Secret Speech, which was, still, very well done. Dennis Boutsikaris does a great job in all three.
What a thrilling ride with unexpected twists and new characters all along--well developed. Couldn't wait to finish this book. Highly recommend the first two books in this "series". Well written and researched. A good look into the KGB, their ruthlessness and the change possible in some. Near the end, however, the author has a character watching the sun go down from "Brighton Beach."-- did the author forget that the Atlantic is facing east from this area? Perhaps I misunderstood. Highly recommend this book.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
Still fueled off my initial enjoyment of Child 44, I put my feelings of disappointment for it's follow-up (The Secret Speech) to the side and dove into the third and final book of the trilogy, hoping to re-connect to the characters that had been so vivid in the first novel.
The first few chapters of the book were excellent. Then, suddenly and without warning, the book starts to jumps time - by the decades.
All the characteristics that made the second book a disappointment were magnified in Agent 6; the huge over-reach of time, place, and plot, and the lack of attention to any sort of personal story that had made us originally care about Leo and his family in the first book.
For a series that started off with such an extraordinary first installment, it's a shame that the second and third books proved to have little understanding of what had made people interested in the first place.
Single mom of two BEAUTIFUL girls and working full time. Never enough hours in the day for myself. Loving Audible!
Oh such a sad end to a great series. This book takes you so many places and follows such a wonderful story line. As a HUGE fan of Child 44 and The Secret Speech this book really took you to another world and covered the most ground. Following Leo and his family in the stories that you get here in Agent 6 will tug at your heart strings. The rebellion and loss, the love, the sadness……….it’s all there! It takes such a turn from the first two books but stands strong on its own. I’m sad to see the series end, I’d have loved to follow Leo threw many more books. A great read/listen and as always this narrator is amazing! Highly recommended.
This is the last book in the series about Leo Dimidov and his adventures. The main story starts the 1960s and it spans over a period of 20 years (bringing us to the 80's). As far as story line, this book does not disappoint. Very interesting plot and it kept me wanting more. However, I was very disappointed with the ending. After following Leo throughout the story, waiting for him to solve the mystery, I feel like there really wasn't much of a mystery to solve at the end of it all. Also how the book ultimately ended somehow felt unfinished. If you enjoyed Child 44 and The Secret Speech though, you will probably like this. As usual, the narrator was fantastic.
I've previously listened to both "Child 44" and "The Secret Speech" as an audio book, and I'm still incredibly impressed by the originality and imagination of Tom Rob Smith. You honestly never know where you'll end up, and the characters (particularly Leo, of course) are immensely compelling. But I have to admit, a great deal of my enjoyment of all three books was due to the fantastic narration by Dennis Boutsikaris. I personally preferred the plot of the previous two books very slightly to this one, for reasons I won't go into in this review for fear of giving away anything, but I still couldn't rank it as anything but 5 stars for story and overall.
The only thing about this audio book that I disliked was the ridiculously intrusive music: despite only occurring (I think) at the very beginning and very end, it took *forever* to fade out at the beginning as the story began (which was merely irritating), but actually *ruined* the final paragraph or so at the very end! Unbelievable.
We like to listen to books while traveling. It makes the time go so much faster. This book was a little slow initially and didn't really get really interesting until the second half. We like to listen to books with fast action and lots of plot changes so this one was not up to our favorites but it was interesting enough to keep us engaged to the end.
There was a lot to learn about the old Communist society and how it related to the US.
He is an entertaining reader and his use of different voices keep things interesting.
The incredibly wonderful description of the characters and their thoughts ideas and values. Coupled with the fantastic narration by Dennis Boutsikaris, I found myslef laughing, shouting exclaiming and sometimes even on the verge of tears.
The long span of time we follow the characters (at least Leo) and the detailed description of each character. Also the way the whole story was put together finally. Although it seemed some of it towards the end was a stretch, and kind of rushed and anticlimactic, but still it was a work of art.
This is a tough question.He performs each character so convincingly I cant really say but I would say Leo Dimidov because he had a large amount of dialogue.
Yes. When Leo was on the phone with Raissa and she said Elena was behaving strangely and she didnt know what to do. I was moved by Leo taking the huge risk telling Raissa "Dont allow her to attend the concert". He followed his instincts even when he could not explain why he felt how he felt. It seemed like a pivotal part of the story, which if Raissa had done what he said would have changed the rest of their lives.
Many reviewers complain of The Secret Speech and Agent 6 being disappointing after Child 44. You have to keep in mind, Child 44 is just such an amazing book, its a tough act to follow. Its hard to make it any better than that. I mean if you combined all 3 books and made them one book, you would still have one huge amazing novel. Also the amount of research TRS did was impressive.
An story that takes the listener from Moscow to New York, Afghanistan and delivers characters that are finely drawn, real and compelling. This book is more than worth listening to. History, Politics, Suspense.
Yes, several. As good as he always is.
Not great like the first two, but still good enough. If you are a fan of TRS, then go ahead.
The last 3rd of the book missed a great opportunity to enrich the story. It felt a bit rushed in spots.
I gave it a 3 overall, because there was no 3.5 choice.
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