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Child 44

Posted on: October 19, 2010

About The Author : Tom Rob Smith is an English writer. He graduated from the Cambridge University  in 2001. His first novel, Child 44 is released in early 2008 and was translated into 17 languages.

About The Book : Child 44 is a thriller novel by Tom Rob Smith. Child 44 was translated into 17 languages. Child 44 was nominee for Man Booker Prize in 2008 and won the Waverton Good Read Award in 2009. The movie based on this book with same name “Child 44” to be released in 2010.

Review : Great Thriller!, This book will grab you by throat and never let you go till the end like Tiger grabs it’s prey by throat. Excellent character development, excellent plot, nail biting suspense, unpredictable plot.

This novel shows some real distrubing and shocking pictures of early 50’s Stalin era of Soviet Union. I really don’t read much of Serial Killer novels but I heard lot of buzz about this novel and many of my friends recommend it to me so picked this book.
After the Mind Blowing and Chilling Prologue which takes place in 1930s Ukraine, The novel starts in 1953 Moscow where we meet the Leo Demidov who is Stalinist secret policeman. His sole job is to interrogate and torture free thinker who think of acting out of sync with Stalinist rules.


In a era where Party believes ” There Is No Crime” in Communist Russia ruled by Stalin, a horrific murder of young boy takes place. Leo refuses to believe that this is a murder because he told so by higher authorities of the party and they made Leo also believe that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is a Great Patriotic War hero and perfect soldier of the regime.

Tom Rob Smith here used the murder mystery to explore the Grey areas of the Soviet Union, he also explore the life and culture in Soviet Union before and after the Stalinist period. He explained very intelligently how people feared to tell the truth, how people stopped thinking against party. How love itself built around fear, fear of betrayal, fear of execution and fear of arrest. Once person is arrested then there is no escape. If you are suspect, then you were guilty, since the state did not make any mistakes. If Party say there is no murder then there is no murder, if you say it as a murder then you will be considered as the enemy of the state and eventually executed.

This gives the Killer a free pass to kill anyone he wanted and know one believes that there is a killer who is killing at will because of the rules of party. Leo believes that the same killer has murdered many other children across the state but he didn’t tell anybody because there were no unsolved and unresolved murders in the state. The story is based on real life Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo (aka “The Rostov Ripper”). There are many non-friction books written about the killer  such as The Killer Department by Robert Cullen, Hunting The Devil by Richard Lourie, The Red Ripper by Peter Conradi.

The real challenge to Leo Demidov is to find the unnamed serial killer in the state where government denies the existence of crime. He start his own investigation and discovers dead and tortured children bodies throughout Russia, and despite the growing threat to his own safety (because he is challenging the state and taking law in his own hands) Leo is determined to stop the child murderer. He cannot official conduct any investigations because state believes there is no crime to investigate. He cannot interrogate the eye witnesses because as per party there is no crime to witness. He must put his life, his wife’s life and his parents life in danger in order to investigate the murders.

A real page turner and nail biting suspense and real historical thriller which will definitely thrill you. I highly recommend this book to all my readers.

Rating : 4.5/5.

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2 Responses to "Child 44"

That was a terrific review Brother.
I am definitely going to read this in the near future.
Already added to the list

Thanks bro for reading the review!

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