Child 44 : Leo Demidov

  • von Tom Rob Smith
  • Sprecher: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Serie: Leo Demidov
  • 12 Std. 24 Min.
  • ungekürztes Hörbuch


It is a society that is, officially, a paradise. Superior to the decadent West, Stalin's Soviet Union is a haven for its citizens, providing for all of their needs: education, health care, security. In exchange, all that is required is their hard work, and their loyalty and faith to the Soviet State. Leo Demidov knows this better than most. A rising, prominent officer in the State Security force, Leo is a former war hero whose only ambition is to serve his country. To defend this workers' paradise - and to guarantee a secure life for his parents and for his wife, Raisa - Leo has spent his career guarding against threats to the State. Ideological crimes - crimes of thought, crimes of disloyalty, crimes against the revolution - are forcefully suppressed, without question.
And then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal - a murderer - is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, all but sentenced to death. The only way to salvage what remains of his life is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the state to suggest that a murderer - much less a serial killer - is in their midst.
To save his life and the lives of his family, Leo must confront the vast resources and reach of the security forces, with only Raisa remaining at his side, to find and stop a criminal that the State won't even admit exists.



" Child 44 is a remarkable debut novel - inventive, edgy and relentlessly gripping from the first page to the last." (Scott Turow)


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From George Orwell with Love

If you think George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 is depressing, wake up to the horrors of the Stalin era in post war Russia.

"Child 44" is a crime story, the story of a serial killer and in this, it is not much different from other good thrillers, but Tom Rob Smith made so much more out of it. In "Child 44" Stalin's horrific and totalitarian regime is described in vivid and gut wrenching detail. It is heartbreaking and terrible to read, what it does to people, their relationships and their lives. The story shows, how paranoia, distrust and the instinct to survive poison the essence of humanity and even eat away, whatever love still exists. In all its terror, there is not much embellishment, the narrative sounds convincingly authentic and rings very true.

Leo is a young officer of the secret police and he is a true believer. He realizes that some aspects of his work are cruel and unfair, but he is convinced that the greater good of a perfect communist society justifies these sacrifices. Apart from that, he readily accepts the benefits from his position, a nice apartment, better food and so on.

When a little boy, the son of a colleague is brutally murdered, he refuses to investigate the crime. He is convinced, it was an accident. In a perfect society is no place for murder, crime is part of the decadent, capitalistic West. Investigating a crime might put his career at risk.

Leo's world falls apart, when his wife is suspected of espionage and he has to partake in the investigation. He is expected to prove his loyalty to the state and sacrifice the life of his wife. Leo knows that his wife is innocent, but standing up for her, would put everything at risk, perhaps even his own life.

Some reviews complained about the speaker, I cannot understand why. He did a good job and his indication of a Russian accent is extremely subtle.

Great book, moved me very deeply.
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- BikerJoe

Weitere Infos zum Titel

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 10.06.2008
  • Verlag: Hachette Audio