Saturday, September 06, 2008

Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith

Smith provides a fascinating look inside Stalin-era Soviet life in the guise of a murder mystery. The protagonist is an agent in the MGB, the secret police force, who becomes involved in a search for a serial killer who murders children along thousands of miles of railway. A jealous colleague sets in motion the events that allow him to conduct an unofficial investigation, unofficial because the state considers murder to be impossible in the perfect Communist society, making anyone believing a murder to have occurred an enemy of the state. Along his journey, emotional as well as literal, the reader experiences the Soviet Union at multiple levels: the day-to-day impact of Communism on regular citizens' lives, the long-term impacts of fear on the populace, the physicality of the landscape, and the juxtaposition of the ideals that are the public face of the government and the people with reality. --Inanna

No comments:

Post a Comment