Meanwhile, former MGB officer Leo Demidov is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his involvement in the murder of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
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Von BikerJoe Am hilfreichsten 29.06.2015
Atonement in Post-Stalin’s Russia
Tom Rob Smith wrote a remarkable piece of fiction, a political thriller that drops you in the middle of the political whirlpool of the Post-Stalin era in Russia. In an amazing march of force the events take you from Moscow to the far East in Siberia and the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. The story is cutting some corners and simplifying historical events, but it captures the turmoil, anxiety and insecurity of this time in Russia very well.
My special thanks go to Tom Rob Smith for showing us the other side of Nikita Khrushchev, whom we mostly remember as the shoe wielding choleric and cold war despot, who brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cuba crisis. We quickly forget that he was the first Russian leader, who openly exposed the incredible ferociousness and barbarity of the Stalinist regime.
This novel is a sequel to Tom Rob Smith outstanding “Child 44”. Leo Demidov, the former MGB officer runs the homicide department in Moscow now. Together with his wife Raisa and their adopted daughters he tries to give his life new meaning and to put the past behind. He is tormented by his past and strives for atonement, while others, foremost his former colleagues and superiors shun him. Even his adopted daughter Zoya cannot see anything, but the cruel secret service officer with bloodstained hands in him. When the secret speech of Khrushchev gets leaked to the public, all of Leo's efforts seem to have been in vain. The little safe haven he built around his family, is shattered violently. Victims of the Stalin era try to get revenge and a wave of murders of key figures of the Stalin era washes over Moscow. In the fight to keep his family safe, Leo becomes drawn into a maelstrom of forces opposing the new political freedom. An incredible coalition of secret service, armed forces and organized crime tries to restore the old system and Leo becomes a pawn in this game.
This novel does not have the dense, overpowering atmosphere of “Child 44”, but it is an action packed political thriller, rich in historical detail and gut wrenching emotion. It is a great story and Colin Mace narrates it excellently.
Of course, it would be better to read "Child 44" first.
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