Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith. Grand Central Publishing (2008).
Set during 1950s Soviet Russia, Child 44 grimly depicts the reality faced by Russian citizens under the rule of Stalin. I was sometimes disturbed by the scenes, but appreciate the research and historical accuracy Smith integrates into his narrative. I felt I was granted an insider's view of this time in Russia's history and the struggles of its people.
Tom Rob Smith has created a wonderful first novel. His ability to weave seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive narrative is impressive. I kept reading simply because I wanted to know how it was all going to come together. I would recommend this to any mystery fan. Of all the recent books of this genre I have read, this is by far the best.
(Originally posted on LibraryThing, June 27, 2008)