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Soon to be released as a movie 'Child 44' is an imaginative murder mystery

Leo Demidov hunts for a serial killer

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith


Tom Rob Smith's debut novel "Child 44" is an imaginative tour de force about a serial killer murder investigation in Communist Russia. It is a work of startling originality. What happens if there is a serial killer in Communist Russia targeting children, where everyone spies on everyone else, and everyone is only one step away from being thrown in the Gulag.

This multiple award winning mystery, set in the bygone days of Stalin and Beria Communist Russia is about Leo Demidov, an investigator for a Russian domestic intelligence service, who investigates his fellow citizens, arrests them and interrogates them, but because of a dispute with a fellow operative is transferred from Moscow in disgrace. He wants to investigate real crimes and is asked to investigate a murder scene that bears many similarities to a murder scene that he saw in Moscow. Fearing that the crimes are alike, he attempts to investigate the crime.

In America, simple.

In the Soviet Union, not so simple. The Communists do not believe that a killer of this magnitude and crimes of this sort exists. Each time there is a murder, the militia drums up some other person who they claim -- aha he is the murderer. Plus each town does not share information with the next town. Leo and Raisa, his wife, working alone, without sophisticated equipment, and often against his fellow officers, must find the serial killer before the Russian Secret Service finds him.

Except for some minor qualms about the murderer, this is really a great work of imagination and suspense, and it also offers insights into the human condition.

The movie is in final production and is to be released some time in 2014. Tom Hardy, who played Bane in "Dark Knight Rises" is playing Leo Demidov; Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in the original "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo" trilogy is playing his wife Raisa.

Why not read it now so you will be ready for the movie when it hits theaters. The book is a winner.

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