Friday, 22 July 2011

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

No Such Thing As Murder!
review by Maryom

Leo Demidov is an upwardly mobile officer with Russia's secret police. As such he believes the Party line that insists there is no such thing as crime and certainly no such thing as murder - the strange death of a colleague's son must have been a tragic accident. Gradually though, as he hears of more all too similar incidents, he comes to accept the fact that there is a serial killer at large. Neither KGB nor Militia are convinced and Leo finds himself trying to track down the killer while remaining one step ahead of the authorities.

Child 44 is a tense, fast-paced thriller based on real events - how true to life it is though is anyone's guess. I was glad to see that the author had avoided falling in to the cliché of stereotyped characters - the card-carrying Party member or intellectual dissident - and in this respect it reminded me of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko series (Gorky Park, Polar Star.. ) but set at a much earlier date. Although capturing the oppression and distrust of late Stalinist era Russia, Child 44 is primarily a whodunnit - excellently written with a believable, flawed hero and a requisite twist in the tail ending.

Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - crime, thriller, adult fiction

Buy Child 44 from Amazon

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