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The Child Thief Audiobook

The Child Thief: A Novel

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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 (618 )
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4.5 (573 )
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Performance
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  •  
    DocHawk Long Beach, Ca USA 03-31-16
    DocHawk Long Beach, Ca USA 03-31-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Amazing. In. Every. Way."

    This is probably the best narration I've ever heard in an audio book. The story was beautiful, suspenseful, generous of human spirit and the amazing narration helped lift it to this level. I loved the descriptions of the cold as well as the slice of history. But most of all, I loved how the author built the suspense and an ending that does not disappoint. And while the book did have violence, the violence was never gratuitous as in so many books in this genre. This is a suspense/mystery novel that showcases literary writing, wonderful characters, and a compelling plot. And narration so good that it defies description.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 10-02-13
    Susan Bartonville, TX 10-02-13 Member Since 2012

    I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.

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    "Baba Yaga"

    This is out of my usual genre, I normally don't choose anything that is about war or holocaust. There were parts that surrounded the Russian Purge of the 1930's that were disturbing but helped to set the scene surrounding the story. I connected and cared about the characters from the very beginning, and the hunt for "The Child Thief" was interesting and exciting. The mystery behind the missing child, the tempered bonding between father and sons, and the rigorous tracking, made this listen fascinating and worth the credit. Dan Smith's illustration of the Ukrainian tundra was elegant. The images he brought to mind were beautiful but at the same time harsh and unforgiving.

    Bronson Pinchot's narration was genius as usual, each voice was distinct and the characters personalities were brought to the forefront. All in all this was a good listen and memorable in its uniqueness.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 02-17-14
    Kathy Bedford, TX, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2007
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    "What a Find!"

    What a find!
    First I was unfamiliar with the author. Second the story was unique and about a time and place I knew little about (Ukraine about 1930). Third the characters seemed to really care about each other. There was genuine affection between family members. None of the drunken beatings common in many stories of that area.
    Smith's writing is delightful. The details are so vivid, it's hard to believe he didn't live the experience.
    Bronson Pinchot's performance is stunning. It just couldn't be better.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 07-24-15
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 07-24-15 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

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    "1930s Ukraine Tale of Unspeakable Terror & Horror"

    Historical story of a time in the Ukraine that I'd not known about . . . when Stalin's Soviet regime oppressed, overtook and starved millions of Ukrainians, running them from their own farms, not allowing them to eat their own grain or animals, a horror as great as or greater than the Holocaust, it has come to be known as Holodomor . . . and driven mad by starvation, some people did the unthinkable . . . they ate their dying children . . . I had to look all this up, after listening to The Child Thief . . . I had to research the horror . . . and it's true . . . but the story of The Child Thief is much, much more . . . It IS about a time in history and a place that is so different than I could have ever imagined . . . but it's also about the fears, the depth of emotions, the GOOD that exists, FOR ALL TIME . . . and IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES . . . that which we all must draw upon to remain human beings . . . to remain connected to one another and to our God . . . a spark of paranoia, a spark of fear, a taste for a "rush", a taste for blood . . . oh, where it leads a weaker man . . . In the coldest of winters, starving and pursued, Luka treks in search of The Child Thief . . . almost giving up, almost ready to close his eyes and surrender to the cold . . .

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crystal schulz 10-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    "What a story!!!"

    I felt irritated at first by the accent, like it would be difficult to follow, but it pulled me in!!! At one point, when they were crossing the lake, I felt like 5 different emotions in a 5 minute span! Strong emotions! What a story teller and SO beautifully preformed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tam 09-20-16
    Tam 09-20-16
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    "credit worthy book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Child Thief to be better than the print version?

    Yes, Bronson Pinchot did a great job as narrator. His accent was heavy, but appropriate for the characters and the book in general.


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

    SINFUL FOLK by Ned Hayes. If you liked this book, you will love SINFUL FOLK. I think this is why I enjoyed this book so much. You feel as if you are part of the community seeking justice for a terrible event. You may not agree with things people say or do, but the author shows how decisions can be made out of fear. Good people doing bad things for good reasons.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    You can empathize with his characters and the decisions they made, good or bad. Many times I wondered what I would do in the same situation. It was a great morality check. Great books make you look within yourself.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, and I'm pretty picky. I have hundreds of books in my audio library and I don't hand out 4 or 5 stars easily. This is my first Dan Smith book, and I have read it is not like his others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Jimenez 09-15-16 Member Since 2015

    Books are for dreaming with eyes wide open.

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    "WOW!! Just WOW!!"

    I had read this book a few years back and thought it was a great book. I bought it here on audible on a 2 credits for 3 books sale because I was curious on how it would be on audio and WOW!! It was like I was reading a totally different book! The narration is superb!!! This production was amazing !!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. LeBlanc Brownsburg, IN USA 04-30-16
    L. LeBlanc Brownsburg, IN USA 04-30-16 Member Since 2014

    Cajunqueen

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    "Gripping and beautiful"

    Where has this book been?! So many books of far lesser quality are on the bestseller lists, and they pale in comparison! This book has it all...plot, exquisitely written prose, fully developed character, historical accuracy...I was hooked from the beginning! And I can't imagine "reading" this book any other way...the narrator nailed Lucka! I was sad to have it end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey A. Jennnings Sacramento, CA 04-22-16
    Lindsey A. Jennnings Sacramento, CA 04-22-16 Member Since 2016

    Momto3Boys

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    "Loved this book!!"

    I'm so happy I found this book! I was completely riveted by the book and its characters and I would worry about them and root for them. I didn't want it to end! I didn't know anything about this time in history (1930s Ukraine) and this book was so fascinating to me that I went and researched the war and that time in history. I will listen to this book again! The only downside is that the narrator's accent at first took some getting used to, but then it became part of the authentic feel of the book. I loved it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lancaster, SC 11-18-15
    Amazon Customer Lancaster, SC 11-18-15
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    "Complex, but believable plot."

    Compelling human interactions and depth of character -- even minor characters. Convincing Russian accents. Accurate and informative historical background.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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