It is 1956. Three years ago, Leo Demidov moved on from his career as a member of the state security force. As an MGB officer, Leo had been responsible for untold numbers of arrests and interrogations. But as a reward for his heroic service in stopping a killer who had terrorized citizens throughout the country, Leo was granted the authority to establish and run a homicide department in Moscow. Now, he strives to see justice done on behalf of murder victims in the Soviet capital, while at the same time working to build a life with his wife Raisa and their adopted daughters, Zoya and Elena.
Leo's past, however, can not be left behind so easily, and the legacy of his former career--the friends and families of those he had arrested as a state security officer--continues to hound him. Now, a new string of murders in the capital threaten to bring Leo's past crashing into the present, shattering the fragile foundations of his new life in Moscow, and putting his daughter Zoya's life at risk.
Faced with a threat to his family, Leo is launched on a desperate, personal mission that will take him to the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the hidden criminal underworld, and into the heart of Budapest and the Hungarian uprising.
"This is a truly remarkable debut novel. CHILD 44 is a rare blend of great insight, excellent writing, and a refreshingly original story. Favorable comparisons to GORKY PARK are inevitable, but CHILD 44 is in a class of its own."
"Smith's pacing is relentless; readers wanting to put the book down for a brief rest may find themselves persevering regardless. Expect the same kind of critical acclaim for this compelling tale that greeted the publication of Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park (1981) more than 25 years ago...a very, very good read. Don't miss it."
"Stellar debut...completely original and absolutely satisfying."
-Starred PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
This is an outstanding book, one of the best I have listened to this year! The author succeeds in recreating the living conditions in Stalinist Russia and weaving a terrifying novel of suspense, intrigue and horror. The resolution at the end of the book is beautifully set up by the various turns of fate that befall the protagonist. This book gave me chills, and it was nearly impossible to break away while listening....Dennis Boutsikaris' performance made me feel like I was living in Stalinist Russia, and I was totally swept away by his work on this audio prduction.
*Starred Review* Dennis Boutsikaris expertly conveys the fear and paranoia that permeates Smith's outstanding debut novel of murder in 1950s Stalinist Russia....Using Russian accents to their full advantage, Boutsikaris infuses his characters' dialogue with a deep sense of downtrodden melancholia.
Looking for un-put-downable suspense, guaranteed to give you chills during the dog days of August? Then Child 44, Tom Rob Smith's dazzling debut novel, enhanced by Dennis Boutsikaris' race-paced, authentically accented performance, is it....As Leo hunts the killer, the MGB hunt Leo, investigator becomes fugitive and the pulse-pounding excitement ratchets up in this transporting thriller-diller.
"Dennis Boutsikaris's Russian accents are superb. He brings even minor characters to life..."