Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Child 44 - Tom Rob

I've read several history books on the Stalin regime but none of them bought home the brutal and paralysing fear that permeated the society as much as this debut novel did.

Imagine a perfect communist society. As all the workers share equally in the profit and benefits, then there should be no more incentive for crime. It's all perfectly logical (in a certain way), so what does someone do when faced with evidence of a horrific series of murders? What does this person do when they are part of the state machine, dedicated to preserving its ideals and security? What do you do when anyone who even so much as breathes against the regime disappears? That is the problem faced by Leo Demidov, a secret policeman who has awaken to the cruelty of the state he is sworn to protect.

This book is bone-chilling on two different levels; firstly in it's terrifying descriptions of life in the Stalinst reign of terror and secondly, the brutal and terrible slaying of over 60 children and the refusal of a state to acknowledge the crime.

This is a great debut from a new author and thoroughly recommended.

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