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Child 44 Hardcover – 2008

744 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster; First Edition edition (2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0276442873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0276442872
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (744 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,216,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1979 to a Swedish mother and an English father, Tom Rob Smith's bestselling novels in the Child 44 trilogy were international publishing sensations. Among its many honours, Child 44 won the International Thriller Writer Award for Best First Novel, the Galaxy Book Award for Best New Writer, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the inaugural Desmond Elliot Prize. Child 44 is now a major motion picture starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman.

Product Description

Consists of A Prisoner of Birth, Child 44, On the Edge and the Crystal Skull

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ralf on 20 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
It's not often that I give a book 5 stars but this one thoroughly deserved it. It is hard to believe that this is a first novel. Others have covered the synopsis so I shan't repeat it here, however, it does give a very good idea of what people had to endure under Stalin. This book was bought for me as a present and its genre isn't what I would normally go for as it is labelled as a political thriller, however, I was gripped right from the start. Once i had finished reading it I immediately went out and got the other two in the series, 'The Secret Speech', which brings us in to the 60's, and ending with 'Agent 6' which is in the 70's. The main character Leo, who works for the MGB (former KGB) and totally believes in the State, undergoes a transformation as the series continues. All the characters are very believable and you quickly feel empathy with them. I can't recommend the books enough.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have just read the most fantastic book of my life, I found myself kept stealing a few minutes reading on my phone kndle ap when ever I had forgotten my iPad or kindle , I could not sleep for the need to want to read more. It seemed so real, and, yet provided so much excitement. Being a son of a father from eastern europe (Hungarian) I knew very little of fathers life when the Russians invaded, only a bit about what he said, this book brought to life so many things he said about life back then, the hunger, the disregard for human life, the killing, the way humans were less thought of than a dog. Humans were just there to feed the big Starlin war machine. I am not a verynintelligent man, my Engilsh is poor because I am dyslexic, but I am so happy it is not so bad hat it stops me reading lovely books like this! for me inwishnonly that the story never ended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dot on 29 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith is one of the books that I have been meaning to catch up on as I missed it last year. There has been a lot of hype about this book and there was much controversy when it was added to The Man Booker Prize long listing. In some ways I think this put me off a bit but I am so glad that I finally took the time to find out for myself as it is a brilliant book. I shall give you the blurb as the story is quite a complex one so I may not explain it properly:

THE SOVIET UNION, 1953

Stalin's grip is at it's tightest, enforced by the Ministry of State Security- a secret police force whose brutality is no secret at all. Under its regime, people are commanded to believe that crime simply does not exist.
But when the body of a young boy is discovered on train tracks in Moscow, Officer Leo Demidov- a war hero, utterly dedicated to the Ministry- is surprised to hear that the boy's family is convinced it was murder. Leo's superiors order him to ignore this and he is obliged to obey. But something in him knows there is more.
Sensing his doubts, the Ministry threatens Leo, giving him no choice but to turn his back on his once-beloved Party. Disgraced, exiled with his wife Raisa to a town deep in the Ural Mountains, Leo realises that the crime he helped cover up in the capital has happened here too.
The murder of another child.
Risking everything, Leo and Raisa will pursue a horrifying killer- even if doing so makes them enemies of the State...

I knew hardly anything about Stalinist Russia so I was worried that I wouldn't understand, luckily though my partner did a history degree before deciding to become a doctor so he was able to give me a brief over-view.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Constable Elbow on 6 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought the talking book of this on a bit of a whim to keep me company while cooking, cleaning etc. I enjoyed it so much that I then bought the book for myself and several other friends and family members. I'm not generally a reader of thrillers as plots usually bore me but this is a really gripping story with a fantastic twist that you see coming but can't believe at the same time. Add to this the beautifully drawn relationship between the lead character and his wife and the moving depiction of the Stalinist era during which most of the book is set and you have a a truly brilliant read. I ought to add that the audio book is read extremely well and would make a great present for someone who spends a lot of time in the car or doesn't have time to read much.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful By J. Milton VINE VOICE on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback
The book begins very promisingly with the first chapter detailing the lives of a village on the brink of starvation in 1930s Russia. Two boys from one family go out hunting for the only piece of meat seen in the village for a long time - a cat. However, only one of the boys returned. The other has been killed.

The rest of the book is set in post-Second World War Russia where a young MGB, Leo, is hard at work doing the dirty work of the state until he is asked to deal with a colleague who suspects that his son has been murdered. There are no murders, in Soviet Russia as murders only happen in capitalist countries, so it is recorded as an accident on a railway line and Leo suggests that his colleague accepts the result. However, a series of similar child murders and a jealous rival mean that Leo's faith in the system is shattered through a series of unfortunate events. The rest of the book follows Leo's attempts to catch the murderer in a state that doesn't accept that murders can take place.

Overall, the novel is ok and deserves 4 stars. It is fast-paced and kept me engaged, without being ground breaking, from beginning to end. The ending is where I have an issue with the book. I overlooked the naivety of Leo, who as a seasoned MGB officer gets himself into some serious pickles, as it is a means to an end of keeping the story going. However, the ending is so unlikely it verges on the farcical. The series of events that combine to create the ending could and would never happen, regardless of the country that the book is set in. For this very reason, I have given the book 3 stars instead of the four I would have given it.
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