Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"'s Reviews > Child 44

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
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's review
Jan 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: all-fiction, russia, suspense-thriller, four-star-fiction, miss-trees
Read in December, 2008

Quite an impressive first novel. Contains elements of a lot of different genres. A little historical, a mystery, a little horror, and some suspense/thriller.

Apparently there really was a serial killer in Russia in the 1980s that was similar to this fictional one. The author placed the story back in the 1950s instead, right around the time of Stalin's death. Early in the book I thought the author gave an excellent feel for the way it is to live in a closed society. People in Stalinist Russia could not trust anyone, including family and friends. Anyone could denounce you for no reason, just to better their own lot in life or to prevent themselves from being sent off to the gulag or executed.

This story is filled with clever surprises and plot twists. If it seems like there are useless parts that don't fit into the story, keep reading. All will come together in the end.

The book is not seamless. There is some occasional choppiness, but what the heck, it's a first novel. Just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the read.
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