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Starred Review. Set in the Soviet Union in 1953, this stellar debut from British author Smith offers appealing characters, a strong plot and authentic period detail. When war hero Leo Stepanovich Demidov, a rising star in the MGB, the State Security force, is assigned to look into the death of a child, Leo is annoyed, first because this takes him away from a more important case, but, more importantly, because the parents insist the child was murdered. In Stalinist Russia, there's no such thing as murder; the only criminals are those who are enemies of the state. After attempting to curb the violent excesses of his second-in-command, Leo is forced to investigate his own wife, the beautiful Raisa, who's suspected of being an Anglo-American sympathizer. Demoted and exiled from Moscow, Leo stumbles onto more evidence of the child killer. The evocation of the deadly cloud-cuckoo-land of Russia during Stalin's final days will remind many of Gorky Park and Darkness at Noon, but the novel remains Smith's alone, completely original and absolutely satisfying. Rights sold in more than 20 countries. (May)
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"This is a truly remarkable debut novel. CHILD 44 is a rare blend of great insight, excellent writing, and a refreshingly original story. Favorable comparisons to
"CHILD 44 telegraphs the talent and class of its writer from its opening pages, transporting you back to the darkest days of postwar Soviet Russia with assured efficiency and ruthlessly drawing you into its richly atmospheric and engrossing tale." (Raymond Khoury, NY TIMES bestselling author of THE LAST TEMPLAR and SANCTUARY)
"Achingly suspenseful, full of feeling and the twists and turns that one expects from le Carré at his best, CHILD 44 is a tale as fierce as any Russian wolf. It grabs you by the throat and never lets you go." (Robert Towne, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of CHINATOWN)
"CHILD 44 is a remarkable debut novel-inventive, edgy and relentlessly gripping from the first page to the last." (Scott Turow)
"An amazing debut-rich, different, fully formed, mature . . . and thrilling." (Lee Child, NY TIMES bestselling author of BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE)
This was a really good mystery set in a historical setting. The twists were great and the end was satisfying to say the least. It kept me busy every free minute I had. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michal
One of the great novels i had the opportunity to read very instructive excellent very well written bravo i would recommend to anyone looking forward to
The movie in April.
I should have learned after reading the first Tom Rob Smith effort. This novel is full of cliches, overwrought language, and one-dimensional characters. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2009 by Amazon Customer
I picked Child 44 up one day and knew nothing about the book but the cover caught my interest and the blurb on the back cover intrigued me. Read morePublished on May 18 2009 by David C. Halkett
This is a great thriller and an amazing debut novel. All sorts of well-researched historical details in a rarely written about time -- Stalinist Russia. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2008 by Marsha S