A critically acclaimed international bestseller that achieved major success and resulted in a hollywood movie, of the same name, Child 44 is a genuinely riveting page-turner that is full of suspense, intrigue and the occasional plot twist. Leo, the main character, is a soviet-era government agent turned revolutionary and the bulk of the story follows his attempt to solve a grizzly series of child murders that the state would rather cover-up. The story movies quickly and jumps effortlessly between different sub-plots and also through time – taking us back to the childhood of the serial killer and hinting at their connection to our protagonist, Leo.
Spoiler alert – the killer transpires to be Leo’s long lost brother who was tormented by Leo’s superiority during their upbringing and also corrupted and ultimately broken by his time in a Nazi prisoner of war camp. The story also centers on the love of Leo’s life, his wife, Raisa. It tells of their fake marriage and near seperation when Leo is first arrested, followed by their eventual reconciliation and ultimately their resulting true love. Well written, yet easy to read, it’s easy to see why this was such a popular book and why it was so successful – spawning a trilogy and the aforementioned movie.