Child 44 Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 2009
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Dennis Boutsikaris expertly conveys the fear and paranoia that permeates Smith's outstanding debut novel of murder in 1950s Stalinist Russia. Leo Demidov, decorated hero of WWII and an officer in Moscow's MGB (a forerunner of the KGB), refuses to denounce his wife as an enemy spy. He is subsequently demoted, disgraced and dispatched, along with his wife, to a backwater factory. A brutal murder with the same characteristics as one Leo was once forced to cover up convinces him that a serial killer is stalking Russian children. Using Russian accents to their full advantage, Boutsikaris infuses his characters' dialogue with a deep sense of downtrodden melancholia. His staid, deliberate reading captures the soul-numbing oppressiveness of life under a totalitarian regime, as well as one man's desperate fight against it in order to do what's right. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 3). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Stellar debut...completely original and absolutely satisfying." (Starred PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
"Smith's pacing is relentless; readers wanting to put the book down for a brief rest may find themselves persevering regardless. Expect the same kind of critical acclaim for this compelling tale that greeted the publication of Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park (1981) more than 25 years ago...a very, very good read. Don't miss it." (Starred BOOKLIST)
"A debut novel from a shockingly talented 28-year-old Brit...Nerve-wracking pace and atmosphere...Smashing." (Starred KIRKUS)
"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 Gorky Park are inevitable, but CHILD 44 is in a class of its own." (Nelson Demille)
"CHILD 44 is a remarkable debut novel-inventive, edgy, and relentlessly gripping from the first page to the last." (Scott Turow)
"Achingly suspenseful, full of feeling and of 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)
"An amazing debut--rich, different, fully-formed, mature...and thrilling." (Lee Child)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Speaking of sensationalizing, like too much we see around us now, it has an obsession with glorified violence and tries to out-do the next book over in its horror.
Coming from our modern liberal world, it's hard not to wonder how anyone lived in that kind of repression, and how anyone managed to get anything done...
It's fiction but how much of it could have been true? Were/are there serial killers in countries that weren't/aren't caught because the government doesn't acknowledge their existence? Will we ever know?
The author presents a solid mystery wrapped up in the enigma of Stalinist Russia -- where murder and crime doesn't officially exist. Although Stalin himself murdered millions.
I thought the story tied together well although the book plodded a bit in the middle. The author sets up sequels which I will have to check out.
Reality check; he may someday enter the lists of writers that include John LeCarrre and other notables of this genre however he is not there at present and based on what I have read of this man I think he would be the last to suggest it. This work is a solid debut; it is not the greatest work since Guttenberg began his printing press.
I don’t know where the line is drawn between fiction and historical fiction. The author moved the events that truly took place in the 1980’s to Stalin’s 1950’s “when the stakes were much higher for someone who dared to risk opposing the State”. That may be an understatement as Stalin presided over one of the most murderous, repressive cults of personality in History.
The story required a primary character that went through an about face in his beliefs and personal conduct. I found this to be a stretch based on the events in the book. As part of The MGB Leo Demidov zealously and actively engaged in horrific behavior based upon his State-Based conditioning. I found his change as a character too extreme to accept as a reader even though the author used Khrushchev’s arrival to buttress the closing events of the book. I thought it made for an ending that was a bit too bright for 1950’s Russia.
I really did enjoy the unwinding of the motivation for the serial killer. I cannot say much as it would spoil the tale for readers to come. I found it unique among the stories of its type. And unlike others I did not find there were any contrived gotcha moments or gratuitous twists in the book.
The book is an enjoyable read. It is also the author’s first book. He is likely to write and grow and give readers finer work as he develops his talent. Talking of any author’s first work in superlatives is unfair and unrealistic.
Set just before Stalin's death, it covers the downfall of KGB officer Leo Demidov who is unjustly demoted for not wanting to denounce the wife who doesn't love him. There is an element of Les Miserables in it as Leo's nemesis Vassili will stop at nothing to ruin Leo's life. The downfall is set against the backdrop of a series of grizzly murders in a country where crime officially does not exist and those who say it does are either sent to the Gulags to die a slow death or simply executed.
Leo has an epiphany as he hits rock bottom after his demotion and decides come hell or high water he will solve the murders and kill the killer. The twist is both gripping and chilling. As I got to the last 200 pages of the book, I simply could not put it down.
I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written book, I look forward to reading more of the authors work.Published 2 months ago by Suzanne Bahr
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 8 months ago by Michal