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Monday, 25 May 2015

Tom Rob Smith – Child 44

Review by showhost
Story begins in 1933, Ukrain, Soviet Union.  People are dying of starvation, the animals are gone –all eaten.  People boil shoes, eat the bark off trees & even each other.
We jump to Moscow 1953.  Stalin has the country in a grip of fear, run by the state police, it is a brutal regime.  People are tortured/murdered if they speak out against the state or are accused of doing so.  People are still scraping around for food & living in hovels but crime does not exist, that is an order.  If a family is killed then it is for the good of the state, it is not a crime, it is necessary to keep order.
When the body of a young boy is discovered on the railway tracks in Moscow his family are convinced he has been murdered.  The boys father is an officer in the Malitia.  Leo, a high ranking officer in the state security, has been sent to convince the family otherwise.  But later events make Leo question this, he sees an innocent man interrogated and killed and then he is asked to follow & interrogate his own wife. .  His dissent has him disgraced and sent to the Ural mountains with his wife Raisa.  The discovery of another childs body with the same cause of death remind Leo of the boy in Moscow.  As Leo and his colleague start to ask in other towns a pattern of child murders, near railway tracks & woods, begins to immerge.  Leo begins to think the unthinkable, that there is a murderer killing children for no reason – a serial killer.   The state need to silence Leo before he causes anarchy.
This story is connected with real events.  It is a disturbing but addictive thriller.  It portrays excellently the terror and hardship that the Stalin regime inflicted upon the Soviet people and what a dictatorship was like.  It’s an amazing book.

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