The opening of this book is set in 1949 and show the main character Leo Demidov, a MGB officer (Stalin’s secret police), entrapping and turning in a priest.
The rest of the book is set in 1956. Stalin is dead and the majority of the MGB (including Leo) have resigned, as they are disgusted by the things they have done.
The Secret speech that is surrounding this book was by Khrushchev. This speech denounces the criminality that have been committed by the state and the majority of prisoners except priests were released.
Leo then finds his daugther has been kidnapped by a gang led by citizens wanting revenge on the MGB and the state for the crimes they have committed. However the gangs leader is the priest’s wife that Leo arrested in the first chapter. The rest of the book mainly follows Leo’s journey to find his journey.
I have read Child 44 and thought it truly was a great fast paced read. I have been looking forward to reading this book for sometime and finally got round to it. I was slightly disappointed by The Secret Speech due to the fact I didn’t think it was as fast paced as the previous book. Perhaps the book has been written to quickly after the previous book. The Secret Speech starts where the Child 44 ended but begins with a tale from Leo’s Mgb days
The majority of the novel is historical accurate and fictional characters are introduced to help bring the plot along.
Tom Rob Smith writing is full of description that really brings the story to life however at times the descriptions can be a bit gory. The atmosphere of this book is great, you could almost smell the fear that the citizens lived in due to the the states surveillance. The way Tom Rob Smith presents arrests, torturing and murders as daily events, means the only way to survive is to comply with the state.
This book was a little slow to start however I did get really in to it after the first 100 pages and found it to be a great read.
I do recommend that if you are going to read this book you must read Child 44 first as this sets out the story of Leo.