Sunday, July 7, 2013

Child 44 (Tom Rob Smith, 2008)

I keep away from thrillers mostly but this one was given to me as a gift by a very special friend so needles to say I had to check it out. Can't say I have something specific against the genre, it's just that I don't have time to go through these formulaic and predictable 500+ pages monstrosities about brutal serial killers, usually "spiced up" by some sinister occult crap which - most often than not - uses exotic historical events for its background.

Child 44 checks all the above requirements with one slight modification - role of Satan is taken over by the communist regime in the former Soviet Union. Orwellian state where twelve years old kids get executed and working people are send to Gulags if they are half an hour late for work. Etc etc etc

In this nightmarish and crime-less surrounding (people are simply too scared to break the laws) our hero needs to hunt down and stop the serial killer of kids. And in the process save his marriage. And face his long buried dark family secret. And naturally re-evaluate his beliefs and loyalty to the communist regime.

By painting this picture of hell on earth more and more intensely, author only succeeds to make it increasingly more boring. And after halfway though, this crap becomes simply laughable. Almost pissed my pants where Raisa tests her hubby's Quo Vadis transformation by suggesting him to kill a peasant who gave them a ride.

Mess of the book that works only as cheap brainwashing propaganda. Insult even to the intelligence of an average airport book-shopper. For the life of me I can't understand why this piece of shit was long-listed for a Man Booker prize.



Leo Demidov, MGB (former KGB) agent

Moscow and some godforsaken village in Urals

Body count:
there's no official police records so we can only trust book's title

Raisa, Leo's wife

He has nightmares about all the innocent people he had killed.

44th murder is the one that kicks off the investigation. At least I think so.

Standard bestseller type of stuff and somehow related to the story as murders do take place along the railroad.

Cool lines
None. Language is most simplistic and on the level of some teenager writing her diary.

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