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)
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
Having broken the 100 mark in my Audible Library, I have to rank this listen in my Top Five. This is a thoroughly engrossing and well written book. Sometimes I complain that authors fail to include any characters that might be deemed likable. Smith did something that is pretty much 180 degrees from that. He gave all of his characters at least a sprinkling of likability. I was late in unraveling this mystery, although Smith provided early clues. If the book had one weakness it was probably the central pretense that cemented the story line. Still I think the listener will let out an Edith Bunker-like expression of understanding when he or she realizes what has been transpiring. I surely did. Download this book. You will not be disappointed.
Let me start of by saying that I am not really a fan of mystery/suspense novels. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I was engrossed after just the first few minutes and listened to the whole book in a just a few extended sessions (time at the beach well spent)! The first three quarters of the book were excellent, the final segment stretched plausibility a bit too thin, but still I was not disappointed overall. One of the best listens I've had in a while. Very good book!
I highly recommend this book - smart listen! I do have to warn on two fronts - 1) the narration takes a bit to get used to the accent, & 2) the beginning dragged a bit. Keep the faith and you will be hooked in and on a good story line. The second half of the book, I could hardly wait to put on my headphones.
This book is better even than Gorky Park, and that is quite an accomplishment. As much as I loved Gorky Park, Child 44 goes into even more realistic detail of the reality and corruption of the Russian government, and its treachery.
The characters are well developed, especially the villian. The reveal at the end is astonishing, with tight suspense all the way from start to finish.
I loved this book. It was well read and well-written, one of the most memorable thrillers of the last few years.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
...or you won't be doing what needs done. Stark, intense and adult themed but not vulgar or profane. I loved the complex characters set in history that was new and beautifully shown.
This is a fantastic read! Great characters, fascinating plot and great background information. This book takes you back to Communist Russia in 1950s. The plot is actually based on a true story about a series of murders that took place in Russia in 1970s. Great plot twist. I understand that this is the authors first book. If so, he hit a home run with this one. Highly recommended.
Loved the Soviet era setting, well-defined characters, and engaging mystery. Most original in a very good way. I'm not usually a 'mystery' type, however, this book more than delivered the goods. It has earned a spot high on my "recommended" list.
The narration is top notch and the story ...while a difficult listen at times..always was compelling. I found myself sitting in the driveway way too long not wanting to leave the story.
I usually listen to two audible books per week, and this one really knocked my socks off. The author takes us into a world so alien to a modern American that it almost seems like Science Fiction, but is actually the "utopia" of socialist totalitarianism in the Stalinist Soviet Union. This book moves the reader/listener on so many different levels that it rises to the level of Great Literature. Original, engrossing, and compelling, you will not be able to stop listening.
The narration by Boutsikaris is marvelous. Truly exceptional characterizations. The flat, firmly controlled intonations of the main character evoke brillantly his need to always hide his true feelings from the "state" that controls every aspect of his life. But every other characterization is equally well thought out by the narrator, sensitive to the nuances of the plot, and very believable.
The reader does a great job, although the russian accent is not entirely convincing.
Plot is capturing but the story looses its rationale over time. A totally illogical and random completion of the storyline crowned with a Hollywood ending unfortunately leaves you with a bad overall impression of the whole book.
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