Stalin's Russia, 1953. In a time when the only crimes acknowledged are those against the state, one man is determined to uncover the truth behind a series of murders the government denies.

Inspired by real-life serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, nicknamed the Butcher of Rostov, Child 44 is a thrillingly dark literary debut by 29 year-old Cambridge graduate Tom Rob Smith.

Drawing from elements of Chikatilo's life, including his traumatising childhood growing up during the famine caused by Stalin's agricultural policies, and his luring of victims from train stations into nearby woods before killing and mutilating them, this debut literary thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat while enveloping you in the claustrophobic and paranoid Russia that existed under Stalin's rule.

When Leo Demidov, one of the country's most loyal Security Ministry officers starts to question the State cover-up of crimes, his comfortable life takes a dramatic turn. Forced by senior officials to dismiss the horrific murder of a young boy and witnessing the torture of an alleged spy Leo knows is innocent, he chooses to give up his protected life to save his marriage, already on the brink of collapse. His decision leads them to a town deep in the Ural Mountains where he uncovers the murder of another child, a murder which bares a frightening resemblance to a child murder he was forced to deny.

With a killer on the loose, murdering children and dumping their bodies near train tracks all over the country, Leo and his wife set off on a wild hunt across Russia, risking disgrace, torture and death to hunt down the killer. 


Tom Rob Smith

Tom Rob Smith (born 1979) is an English writer. The son of a Swedish mother and an English father, Smith was raised in London where he lives today. After graduating from Cambridge University in 2001, he completed his studies in Italy, studying creative writing for a year. After these studies, he worked as a scriptwriter.

Country of Origin



Series: Leo Demidov

Year of Publication
Review CHILD 44 - Tom Rob Smith
Karen Chisholm
Monday, March 31, 2008
Blog Currently Reading - Child 44, Tom Rob Smith
Karen Chisholm
Friday, March 28, 2008

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