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Child 44: An Amazing Character Study of a Man Finding Redemption In a World Of Espionage and Murder

Updated on August 20, 2016

Child 44 By Tom Rob Smith

Child 44 Book Review


There's not much to say about the origin of this book. I was in a thrift store and strolled over to the book section like I do. And they had shelves and shelves of books for fifty cents. And there I found this interesting thriller and I thought I would give it a try. It was called Child 44 and is written by Tom Rob Smith

So what is it about? Mostly it’s about an MGB officer in post-world war II Soviet Union Russia. He is loyal to his country and believes in all of it. He kills men he’s told to kill, torture who he’s told to torture, and do anything else to support his country. He’s a true patriot. That is until his wife is accused of being a spy. One thing then collides into another and ultimately the reality he believes in is shattered. Leo becomes broken and finally realizes all the terrible things he done and decides to do at least one good deed in his life. He decides to kill a murderer who is slaughtering children across the county.

The good? The piece is such an interesting character study. To see someone who is such a terrible person, have such a turnaround was fascinating. The lines of good and bad are blurred together in a beautiful fashion. It poses the question, can bad people do something good? And if they do, do they deserve any sort of redemption? The setting was so interesting adding this constant sense of paranoia and espionage. There’s a lot of good action scenes as well. And the final confrontation was great. Also there are many twists and turn in the story so it’s never boring.

The bad? Only one complaint. This author did not believe in dialogue tags. He instead, for each speaker the dialogue is written in italics with tick marks. It’s hard to get used to. It can be very confusing if there are more than two people in the scene. It’s not something that hurts the story. It was just an odd choice for an author to use.

Overall, this is one of the best thrillers I ever read. It’s up there with Robert Ludlum’s work. I recommend it to everyone.

4 smoothies out of four.


Overall Rating: An Amazing Character Study of a Man Finding Redemption In a World Of Espionage and Murder.

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    • Cee-Jay Aurinko profile image

      Cee-Jay Aurinko 19 months ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Ooh. Anti-heroes. Yum! Sounds like something I would like. Thanks for this review Samie.

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