- Child 44
Child 44 Author(s) Tom Rob Smith Country United Kingdom Language English Genre(s) Thriller Publication date 2008 Media type Print (hardcover and paperback) Pages 400 ISBN 1847371264 Followed by The Secret Speech
The novel is based on the crimes of Ukrainian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, also known as the Rostov Ripper, who was convicted of and executed for 52 murders in the Soviet Union. In addition to highlighting the problem of Soviet-era criminality in a state where "there is no crime," the novel also explores the paranoia of the age, the education system, the secret police apparatus, orphanages, homosexuality in the USSR and mental hospitals.
The book is the first part of a trilogy. The second part is called The Secret Speech and also features the character of Leo Demidov and his wife, Raisa. The third part, called Agent 6 was published by Simon and Schuster in the UK in July 2011.  It will be published in the US in early 2012.
Child 44 has been nominated for 17 International Awards and was the winner of seven. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was the winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award in 2008. Child 44 was on the Richard and Judy Book of the Decade list and won the Waverton Good Read Award in 2009. It was also shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for a first novel in 2008. Tom Rob Smith was awarded the 2008 Galaxy Book Award for Best New Writer.
The New York Times called it a "tightly woven", "ingeniously plotted", "high-voltage story". The Sunday Telegraph praised it as a "memorable debut": "the atmosphere of paranoia and paralysing fear is brilliantly portrayed and unremittingly grim". Kirkus gave it a starred review, calling it "smashing"; "nerve-wracking pace and atmosphere camouflage wild coincidences". In a Guardian review, Peter Guttridge praised it as a "thrilling, intense piece of fiction". It was also called "an adequate police procedural" by another New York Times reviewer , and a review of the paperback edition in The Guardian said that "the story is exciting, but the characters and dialogue are underdeveloped, and the prose studiously bland."
A movie based on the novel was supposed to be in the works, with Ridley Scott as director. As of October 2010, the movie is still categorized as "in development" on IMDB. However, there is no such listing as of January 2011.
- ^ "Agent 6". http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/tom-rob-smith/agent-6.
- ^ Maslin, Janet (May 8, 2008). "The New York Times". http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/books/08maslin.html.
- ^ Susanna Yager (March 9, 2008). "A crime that officially doesn't exist". London: The Sunday Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/fictionreviews/3671713/A-crime-that-officially-doesnt-exist.html.
- ^ Kirkus starred review 1 March 2008
- ^ The Guardian, 2 March 2008
- ^ Koelb, Tadzio (March 13, 2011). "The New York Times". http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/books/review/book-review-mr-chartwell-by-rebecca-hunt.html?_r=2&ref=books.
- ^ Koelb, Tadzio (28 February 2009). "Review: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/feb/28/child-44-review?INTCMP=SRCH.
- ^ Child 44 on Movie Insider
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.