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Child 44

Författare: Tom Rob Smith
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
ISBN: 9780446402392

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If all that Tom Rob Smith had done was to re-create Stalinist Russia, with all its double-speak hypocrisy, he would have written a worthwhile novel. He did so much more than that in Child 44, a frightening, chilling, almost unbelievable horror story about the very worst that Stalin's henchmen could manage. In this worker's paradise, superior in every way to the decadent West, the citizen's needs are met: health care, food, shelter, security. All one must offer in exchange are work and loyalty to the State. Leo Demidov is a believer, a former war hero who loves his country and wants only to serve it well. He puts contradictions out of his mind and carries on. Until something happens that he cannot ignore. A serial killer of children is on the loose, and the State cannot admit it.
To admit that such a murderer is committing these crimes is itself a crime against the State. Instead of coming to terms with it, the State's official position is that it is merely coincidental that children have been found dead, perhaps from accidents near the railroad tracks, perhaps from a person deemed insane, or, worse still, homosexual. But why does each victim have his or her stomach excised, a string around the ankle, and a mouth full of dirt? Coincidence? Leo, in disgrace and exiled to a country village, doesn't think so. How can he prove it when he is being pursued like a common criminal himself? He and his wife, Raisa, set out to find the killer. The revelations that follow are jaw-dropping and the suspense doesn't let up.

Medelbetyg: 3 (1 röster)
Bok recensioner av Child 44 :
2009-08-03 21:28

— What started as a superb mystery ended as a mediocre thriller.

The tension until four-fifths of the book is so terrifyingly good I though “Child 44” was on its way to dethrone Martin Cruz Smith’s masterpiece, “Gorky Park”. The comparisons are of course inevitable since both books are based in the USSR. People were actually saying that Tom Rob Smith’s debut was better, and, taking into consideration Martin Cruz Smith is one of my favorite writers I was seriously worried.
Luckily for me and Martin Cruz Smith and sadly for Tom Rob Smith the book started to fall to pieces toward the end. How such a good book got this kind ending I’ve no idea, but for me, the writer and his editor must’ve completely lost it.

Is “Child 44” worth reading?
I think so, despite the horrible ending.

Is “Child 44” better than “Gorky Park”?
“Gorky Park” can be considered literature as much as a mystery. So No, there is no chance “Child 44” is better. It’s like comparing Marilyn Monroe with Pamela Andersson.

What’s the biggest sin of “Child 44”?
In my humble opinion it’s not the ending. The ending is just a consequence of what really made this book so fascinating: the biggest sin is the terror of living in Stalin’s Russia. In the end the supposed killer/bad guy is just nothing compared to the real culprit in this book: the sociological nightmare you have to experience by living under such society.

Betyg 3

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