Tom Rob Smith
Reviewed by: Patricia E. Reid
Child 44 begins in January of 1933 and sets forth the plight of the people in Russia who were starving to death. When one has never really gone hungry it is just very difficult to imagine what a person would go through to feed themselves and their families.
The book jumps forward to 1953 where we meet Leo Demidov and learn about his work in the MGB, the State Security Force, both the perks and the downside
The story is about a serial killer who stalks and kills young children in a very violent manner. Sometime goes by before anyone realizes that there really is a killer at large. The victims are usually found near railroad tracks and there have been victims in numerous towns but Russia did not have the communication between departments or even a homicide department where the information is shared from one place to another. People have been caught, accused and put to death in order to solve one of these murders because that is the goal in the Russian official’s minds is just to charge someone and close the case.
Not until Leo Demidov who is an agent for MGB, the State Security Force, falls out of favor with his superiors and is demoted does he realize the extent of these killings. His efforts to find the murderer put not only his life in danger but the life of his wife and anyone who is willing to help.
The hunt for the serial killer is very exciting and you will find yourself holding your breath many times. The background of life in Russia during the reign of Stalin is quite revealing and made me very, very thankful that I was born and raised in the United States.