Book Review – Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

The struggle and fear people experienced in the Soviet Union is graphically brought to life with such skill in Tom Rob Smith’s novel Child 44 set in 1953 shortly before Stalin’s death. The main character Leo Demidov world is shattered, his job and relationship with his wife are thrown into turmoil following the death of a young boy the parents believe to have been murdered. Leo from being a war hero and having a successful career as an officer in the Ministry of State Security, and enjoying life’s luxuries that come with the job, suddenly becomes an enemy of the state in Stalin’s perfect communist society where there can be no crime as this plague only happens in the capitalist west.

The book follows Leo and his wife’s struggle to bring justice in pursuit of a serial killer in a world of corruption where the image and structure is more important than truth and fairness. The story based loosely on the real life crimes of Andrei Chikatilo in a later decade to what the book is set manages to capture and convey the events incomprehensible to someone who has not lived in that time and place.


A sub plot to the main story I wanted to add a note on is, the romantic element between Leo and his wife Raisa as this has not appeared much in other reviews. This is a great love story where emotions and realities of their relationship are revealed.

Child 44 is exciting, emotional and of historical interest and one I will add to my bookshelf to read again.

To get a copy of Child 44 click here

3 thoughts on “Book Review – Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

  1. Hi Rob,
    Thanks for following! I browsed your website and noticed your book review of Child44. I recently saw the movie and I thought it was an excellent story. Horrible, but well done. It was an enlightment to see the pressure those people were living under, not being able to trust your neighbour or even your own family. I don’t know if the book can be any better than the film as I thought Tom Hardy was extremely well cast and made his character very believable.
    Jacky D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacky,

      Thanks for your comments they are appreciated.
      I have watched the film after reading the book and have to say the book I found to be so much more. It also includes a lot of explanations to areas I felt the film left a little vague. I agree Tom Hardy provided an excellent performances but would favour the book over the film.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s