‘Child 44' by Tom Rob Smith

‘Compares Poorly With Renko’

Score: 4/5

Tom Rob Smith

I liked this book but I couldn’t help always comparing it with another: Gorky Park.

Both feature life in Communist Russia, and the constant threat of the security services even to someone involved in the security service. Both feature a flawed main character trying to do the right thing. This book maybe went in to a bit more detail about life in Russia at the time, but for some reason I found Gorky Park more credible and compelling.

I have no idea how much faith to put in that though. I have no idea if either author ever visited the USSR, never mind lived there under such conditions. But I suppose the best way I can explain it is that this book felt like it was written by someone who had read about the experience of the USSR but who had never actually been there.

That said, I’ve never been to the USSR either and this book is much more detailed and compelling than anything I’d come up with.

There’s just something about Arkady Renko that I understood more. It’s not that the characters in this book don’t have depth, don’t have other dimensions, it’s just I seem to relate to Renko better.

The book itself was compelling - quite a page turner.

Tags: 4 Word Book Reviews
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