Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 – A Gripping Thriller Set in the Soviet Union

Child 44

A South Africa-based property development professional, Laurence Grigorov serves as director of Laurence Martin Developments in Johannesburg. When he isn’t working, Laurence Grigorov spends his free time listening to music, working out, and reading. He lists Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 among his favorite.

Published in early 2008, the gripping detective novel is Smith’s debut novel and the opening book in the Child 44 Trilogy, which also includes 2009’s The Secret Speech and 2011’s Agent 6. Based loosely on the story of Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, Child 44 centers on Leo Demidov, a security officer who finds himself on the hunt for a child murderer in the Stalinist Soviet Union of the 1950s.

Upon its release, Child 44 enjoyed both popular and critical success. NPR named it one of the 100 best thrillers of all time, and the novel received the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller award in 2008. Child 44 was also considered for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and the 2008 Costa First Novel Award. The book was later adapted into a 2015 film starring Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman.

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