This thriller is one of the most hyped books this summer. The story follows one man's hunt to catch a serial killer of children. In typical thriller fashion, different chapters reveal what is happening with the protagonist, the killer, and occasionally victims or other side characters. Most chapters end with a cliff hanger before checking in with another character in the next.
Where Child 44 differs from the usual Safeway novel thrillers is in its setting - the story takes place in a Soviet Union ruled by Stalin. Clearly the author did quite a bit of research into that era, and he does a good job of showing the horrors and difficulties of life during that time. Much of the novel is spent developing the characters and setting - the murder investigations don't really rev up until the second half of the book.
Although the dialog is sometimes over-earnest and the who-dunnit aspect of the story is not very exciting, this book is still worth a read because of the dark but fascinating world and time it draws the reader into. This book should appeal to mystery/thriller fans, as well as those who enjoy historical fiction.
This book explore the psychological aspects of the politically minded very well. It's matter of fact tone sits well with the plot, and the (not often) action within is worthy of a Bourne-like movie. The plot is good, the pacing is good and if you have access to the audio version, give it a try! It's an excellent look into the communist's frame of mind, and the way people have to behave and act for their very survival.
As it promised, this book kept me up long past my bedtime. The suspense begins from the first pages, and tension builds with every chapter. The surprising twists shocked me and kept me reading. This thriller is based on the notorious true life crimes of Andrei Chikatilo, who was a ritualistic serial killer in Soviet Russia. A reader can feel the oppression and the fear inspired by the government. I cared deeply about the characters and could not put this book down. It is "entirely convincing and frightening." I am looking forward to his next novel which picks up where this one leaves off.
This book is totally different from my usual fare, and I ordered it based on a fellow swapper's review. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008, this book is a definite page turner. An intense, very well written roller coaster ride that gripped me from the first page until the very last. Can't wait to order "The Secret Speech". Very highly recommend.
Excellent book. Really captures the bleakness of Russia (USSR) in the 30's and then in the 50s before Stalin dies. Favorably compares to Gorky Park and subsequent novels.