Child 44

Simon & Schuster 3 March 2008 h/b

ISBN: 9781847371263

The Soviet Union, 1953. Stalin’s iron grip is at its tightest, enforced by the Ministry of State Security – a secret police force whose brutality is no secret at all. Under its regime, people are commanded to believe that crime simply does not exist.

But when the body of a young boy is discovered on train tracks in Moscow, Officer Leo Demidov – a war hero utterly dedicated to the Ministry – is surprised to hear that the boy’s family is convinced it was murder. Leo’s superiors order him to ignore this and he is obliged to obey. But something in him knows there is more.

Disgraced, exiled to a remote town in the Ural mountains, Leo realises that the crime he helped cover up in the capital has happened here too: the murder of another child. Risking everything, Leo pursues a horrifying killer – even if doing so makes him an enemy of the State.

Tom Rob Smith was born in 1979 to a Swedish mother and an English father and was brought up in London where he still lives. He graduated from Cambridge in 2001 and spent a year in Italy on a creative writing scholarship. Tom has worked as a screenwriter for the past five years.

“An amazing debut – rich, different, fully-formed, mature … And thrilling.” Lee Child