Sunday, March 30, 2008

From Russia, with murder

Those waiting for the next Rostnikov mystery from Stuart M. Kaminsky have until Aug. 8 for People Who Walk in Darkness to be released. But if you still need a Mother Russia fix, keep your eyes open for Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 due out April 29. It is one of those books that are reviewed as "unputdownable," or some such expression and frankly, it was.

Set in Stalinist Russia it follows the political unraveling of Soviet state security officer Leo Demidov who discovers evidence of a serial killer at work, a creature who goes against the promise of true Communist. When he is demoted for voicing his beliefs and deported to a less attractive posting, Demidov discovers that the evidence continues to mount. With state-sponsored threats against his family and a marriage crumbling beneath him, he finds an unexpected allies willing to risk their own lives to help Demidov find the killer.

This is Smith's first thriller and, if this is any indication of what he will be producing in the future, the genre (with all its formulaic film fantasies) has found a new voice, someone who can create characters as fullblown, vulnerable, human beings.

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