Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Salon: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

For a Salon post, I always write a review. Today is no exception.

Child 44
Author: Tom Rob Smith
ISBN: 978-0446402385
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing/2008
Pages: 448

I read Child 44 during the 24-Hour-Readathon and hadn't come around reviewing it till today. Set in the Stalinist Soviet Union of the 1950s, this novel covers a lot of grounds. As a crime fiction novel, it excels despite dragging at times.

When Leo Demidov, a war veteran finds a body of a child on the tracks of a train, he knows that it is a murder. But who killed the boy? Then he finds similarities between other killings of young children. When he goes to the State, no one is prepared to listen to him. Infact the State goes into such a mode so as to deny those killings related to each other.

Leo is convinced that it is a serial killer and has to trace the numerous murders so as to get to the murderer. The State is a stumbling block but he does not let it deter him. He is helpless yet determined even though he know it may destroy his family life.

It is so horrifying that a State can deny and hide the crimes, doing nothing to catch the killer. And in a way very realistic too when I see our own power that hide facts and go to any length to prevent the truth to come out. Has anything changed?

Tom Rob Smith has done a great job and one also gets glimpses of the Soviet Union of that period. With great descriptions, my interest didn't waver at any point of time. It might be a difficult read, what with child killer roaming free, yet well worth reading. The starkness and bleakness only enhances the horror.


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Sounds like a very grim tale, but suspenseful.

My salon:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Whew! I've heard both good and bad about this book, but it's pretty clear to me after reading this review that this book is not my cup tea.

bermudaonion said...

I read this when I first started blogging and couldn't turn the pages fast enough! What a story!

Staci said...

I recently grabbed this one for a quarter at a book sale...can't wait to read it now after your great review!

Nikki in Niagara said...

I really want to read this one! Especially now that he's got a new one out.

Anonymous said...

I've read quite a few reviews on this one--I need to read it!

Suzanne Yester said...

Since I read The Secret Speech, and learned that Leo Demidov was also a character in Tom Rob Smith's first book, Child 44, knew I wanted to read this. Thanks fi
Or sharing your thoughts. looks like this will be an enjoyable read too!