“An amazing debut - rich, different, fully-formed, mature ... and thrilling.” Lee Child
“An amazingly assured and exciting debut.” Simon Mayo’s Book Club, Radio 5 Live
The Soviet Union, 1953. Child 44 is a gripping novel about one man’s dogged pursuit of a serial killer despite the opposition of Stalinist state security forces. A decorated war hero driven by dedication to his country and faith in the superiority of Communist ideals, Leo Demidov has built a successful career in the Soviet security network. When a fellow officer’s son is killed, Leo is ordered to stop the family from spreading the notion that their child was murdered. In a society that’s officially paradise, it’s a crime against the state to suggest a murderer might exist. Meanwhile, Leo’s involvement in another case, that of the “traitor” Anatoly Brodsky, casts doubts on the cause he had served so devotedly, setting in motion a chain of events that changes his understanding of everything he had previously believed. Smith’s deftly crafted plot delivers twist after chilling twist as it lays bare the deceit of the regime that enveloped an impoverished people in paranoia.
Tom Rob Smith was born in 1979 to a Swedish mother and an English Father. He grew up in South London where he still lives, in a converted Jam Factory.
Tom began writing plays at school before studying at St Johns College Cambridge. After studying he worked in television, including as an assistant story editor on Channel 5’s Family Affairs and ITV’s Bad Girls. He then moved to the BBC where he storylined for Cambodia’s first soap opera. He commented that although many of the issues were the same as in British soap operas things were just resolved much quicker.
Child 44 has received much interest from publishers, the media and film makers. The book has been published in 22 countries (although its publication is banned in Russia) and before the book even reached the shelves it had received three film offers and within two weeks Ridley Scott (Gladiator, American Gangster) eventually secured the rights.
Tom is currently writing a follow up to Child 44 which focuses on Leo and Raisa’s relationship with their daughters.
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
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