Leo Demidov knows this better than most. A rising, prominent officer in the State Security force, Leo is a former war hero whose only ambition is to serve his country. To defend this workers' paradise - and to guarantee a secure life for his parents and for his wife, Raisa - Leo has spent his career guarding against threats to the State. Ideological crimes - crimes of thought, crimes of disloyalty, crimes against the revolution - are forcefully suppressed, without question.
And then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal - a murderer - is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, all but sentenced to death. The only way to salvage what remains of his life is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the state to suggest that a murderer - much less a serial killer - is in their midst.
To save his life and the lives of his family, Leo must confront the vast resources and reach of the security forces, with only Raisa remaining at his side, to find and stop a criminal that the State won't even admit exists.
©2008 Tom Rob Smith; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
"Child 44 is a remarkable debut novel - inventive, edgy and relentlessly gripping from the first page to the last." (Scott Turow)
The character development
Leo - he was a romantic and naive in a time of very little happiness
This was a very interesting book, it had a lot of little twists that were genuinely surprising and the characters were well developed. There were a few little things that I would have like resolved a bit more in depth. Over all it was a very good story and plot... definitely held my interest. It was quite depressing as a whole though, I expect serial killer books to be dark but the whole setting was very depressing.
Very smart thriller that takes the reader into the Cold War Russia and secret police. This is better than 99% of thrillers out, and the author should have let the story end here rather than attempt a series with these characters. The rest of the trilogy pales by comparison and does not live up to expectations.
Set against the snowy backdrop of Stalinist Russia, we see the central character striving for high ideals in a broken and dysfunctional utopia. Standing next to our hero is his faithful wife. In a world where things are not always as they appear to be, and where fear and ambition often trumps integrity, it is easy to get away with murder.
The plot navigated smoothly through twist and bumps, while leaning to avoid pitfalls, before concluding in a satisfying, albeit sad, ending.
There were a few graphic details, and some desciptions of gruesome acts throughout Child 44. However, there was enough humanity in the characters to convey that these were acts of depravity, and not necessarily the norm..
I decided to take a chance on this since it was getting good reviews. I am so glad I did! Having lived in a former soviet state at one time I understood that there was something about life there before my visit that was tragic. The trauma was such that even though they had a semblance of independence thay still looked over their shoulders and had to learn to trust that others might be interested in helping rather than causing trouble.
This book helps us understand what the oppressed soviet citizens endured for those 70 some years. We get to experience the culture from the perspective of one of the oppressors ala "Lives of Others". How can a policeman investigate a murder when murder does not happen in a utopian society? There is no inequality therefore no reason for crime (as only capitalism can produce criminals) and every action a person takes can attract unwanted attention and the dreaded 4am visit.
This is an excellent look into the culture and life of the soviet as well as a crime and political thriller with surprises all along the way. I got the trilogy on sale at audible so we'll see if the other stories can keep up.
This book is fascinating on so many levels including an engrossing story and fine narration. Bought entire trilogy during the trilogy special. So glad i did. Wonderful at every level.
Leo is such a great, great character.
Loved it. I have listened to some of his other books and have enjoyed all of them.
Having never read the print version, I have no clue. However, I did like this book. It was a little slow to start, but it picked up speed and I found myself really liking the characters
I liked the main character and his wife. They both started off as not being so interesting, but then they took off and became people that I wound up rooting for and really identifying with them.
All of them
Yes and no. There were parts that I just couldn't stop and I really had to find out how things were going to turn out. Then there were others that seemed like a good point to take a break
Not a must read, but worth a credit!
It took a while to get used to the story being in such a depressing place. But the characters were interesting and the story was intriguing. Considering this was his first book, I have high hopes for the next one. I plan to read the rest in this series.
Terrific, horrific, in many ways but as good an inside look and explanation of Stalinist Soviet Society at a turning point. Reading was enthralling and the brutality was hard to listen to but hard not to want to know what is next. A writer whose research must have been as difficult as the times he writes about - and his principal character is terrific.
A great story and the narrator was terrific. I look forward to reading the next in the series. A backdoor look into stalin's russia was fascinating and educaitonal. highly recommend this to whomever likes a good suspense thriller set in a country other that britain or us.
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