Child 44 - WikipediaSince Maria had decided to die, her cat would have to fend for itself. She'd already cared for it far beyond the point where keeping a pet made any sense. Rats and mice had long since been trapped and eaten by the villagers. Domestic animals had disappeared shortly after that. All except for one, this cat, her companion which she'd kept hidden. Why hadn't she killed it? She needed something to live for; something to protect and love - something to survive for.
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Child 44 Summary & Study Guide
The book features a repeat appearance of Leo Stepanovich Demidov, the protagonist of Smith's first book, Child 44 The third novel in the trilogy, Agent 6 , was published in The title refers to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev 's address admitting Stalin's crimes. Leo's nationalism evolves as a microcosm of the country's social revolution. The book serves as a good illustration of the internal conflict the citizens felt under Stalin's reign.
Child 44 published in is a thriller novel by British writer Tom Rob Smith. This novel, the first in a trilogy, takes inspiration from the crimes of Andrei Chikatilo , also known as the Rostov Ripper, the Butcher of Rostov, and the Red Ripper. Chikatilo was convicted of and executed for committing 52 murders in the Soviet Union, though his crimes occurred after the Stalin era. In addition to highlighting the problem of Soviet-era criminality in a state where "there is no crime", the novel explores the paranoia of the age, the education system, the secret police apparatus, orphanages , homosexuality in the USSR , and mental hospitals. The second and third books in the trilogy, titled The Secret Speech April  and Agent 6 July ,  respectively, also feature the protagonist Leo Demidov and his wife, Raisa. Child 44 has been translated into 36 languages. Additionally, it was nominated for 17 international awards and won seven.
NOTE: Due to the structure of the novel, summaries and analysis sections are divided by page numbers. The novel, set approximately 25 years before the killings historically, follows the efforts of Leo Demidov to solve a string of child murders that, according to the Communist State, do not exist, for the State has decreed that crimes are symptomatic of the corruption of Western society and capitalism, and simply are not possible under Communism. Early in the novel, Leo is loyal Communist, working as a State Security force officer in the MGB in Moscow, where he seeks out traitors, spies, dissidents, counterrevolutionaries, and anyone who opposes the State, or poses a threat to the State. Leo is a legal absolutist, believing that anything legal is moral, and is also an extreme utilitarian, believing that the ends justify the means. As such, Leo will act even cruelly in order to do what is necessary to protect the Communist State. There, Raisa comes to see herself as an equal to Leo, having long feared his position and power, and having only originally married him out of fear for her life, rather than love. Joined by Raisa, they discover a third body under the same conditions —naked, the stomach cut out, the mouth stuffed full of bark, and a string snare tied about the ankle — and begin an investigation.
And while living the unimaginable, there is a mysterious child killer on the loose that Security Officer, Leo Demidov is determined to stop, even after his demotion, even after mind altering drugs, even when he is on t. And while living the unimaginable, there is a mysterious child killer on the loose that Security Officer, Leo Demidov is determined to stop, even after his demotion, even after mind altering drugs, even when he is on the run, and even to the detriment of his own life and family. Clues lead to a place difficult to go, but where answers are found.
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Child 44 Summary & Study Guide Description
Tom Rob Smith's remarkable debut thriller powerfully dramatizes the human cost of loyalty, integrity, and love in the face of totalitarian terror. A decorated war hero driven by dedication to his country and faith in the superiority of Communist ideals, Leo Demidov has built a successful career in the Soviet security network, suppressing ideological crimes and threats against the state with unquestioning efficiency. When a fellow officer's son is killed, Leo is ordered to stop the family from spreading the notion that their child was murdered. For in the official version of Stalin's worker's paradise, such a senseless crime is impossible an affront to the Revolution. But Leo knows better: a murderer is at large, cruelly targeting children, and the collective power of the Soviet government is denying his existence.