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Agent 6 (The Child 44 Trilogy) Hardcover – January 5, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: The Child 44 Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (January 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446550760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446550765
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2012: To solve the murder that splintered his family, ex-KGB officer Leo Demidov escapes the ruins of Stalinist Russia through opium-soaked 1980s Afghanistan to New York's underbelly. Smith secures his place in the pantheon of crime writers with this taut, enthralling conclusion to the trilogy he brilliantly began with Child 44 and The Secret Speech. --Mari Malcolm

Review

"In [the] first two volumes, Smith brilliantly illuminated the horrors of Stalin's Russia and the Gulag. He also gave readers Leo Demidov, duty-bound, introspective, enduring, and ultimately a figure both tragic and heroic...another first-class, must-read crime novel."—Booklist (starred review)

"A gripping, relentless whodunit plot...Most readers will reach the final page with regret and in awe of Smith's uncompromising vision of the realities of a police state and the toll it takes on those caught in its meshes."—Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"An old-fashioned thriller that would do Ludlum and le Carré proud...A big book, in every sense, that's sure to draw attention."—Kirkus (starred review)

"When a trilogy is as unpredictable and riveting as Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 series, set as it is both in the harsh Russian landscape and the dense thicket of the human soul, expectations quickly evaporate in a page-turning frenzy....Smith, a young British screenwriter turned best-selling novelist, has created in Leo Demidov a Kafkaesque modern hero for our times, a good man trapped in a corrupt, manipulative system, forced to choose between loyalties to family, country and conscience. With a cinematographer's eye for settings and historical detail, Smith uses Leo's journey to examine larger issues, especially the political, social and religious systems that both unite and divide us."
BookPage

"Fortified by formidable details of Soviet history, Smith's closing volume of the Leo Demidov trilogy (Child 44; The Secret Speech) knits together iconic characters and elements...Fans of Smith's first two books will avidly seek out the final chapter, though this one stands on its own as well. The Afghan interlude is a searing echo of today's headlines, while the buildup of suspense over several decades is the armchair equivalent of a jaw-jarringly extreme ride at an amusement park."—Library Journal

"Agent 6 has all the elements that made the first two books in the series hits: relentless action, a flawed but fascinating protagonist and a clear-eyed view of the absolute brutality of an authoritarian government."—Dallas Morning News

"A new talent who looks set to be entertaining and moving us for many decades to come."—The Scotsman

More About the Author

Tom Rob Smith graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 and lives in London. His first novel, Child 44, was a New York Times bestseller and an international publishing sensation. Among its many honors, Child 44 won the ITW 2009 Thriller Award for Best First Novel, The Strand Magazine 2008 Critics Award for Best First Novel, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Tom invites you to visit his website www.TomRobSmith.com and follow @tomrobsmith on Twitter.

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Customer Reviews

Rarely have I read such a book, it had me hooked from page one.
Terence O'Neill-Joyce
When one of our bookstores was closing, I picked up Child 44 for a we dollars, and was instantly a fan of Tom Rob Smith.
Patrick A. Zottoli
His research, character development, and plot are all very well intertwined.
Mugsy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

224 of 252 people found the following review helpful By M. McGinty on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Folks, I understand your outrage/displeasure/whatever over paying more for the e-version of the book than you expected. However, three 1-star reviews that have nothing to do with the quality of the book have dragged down its overall rating, giving everyone who comes to the page a false impression that the book isn't very good - and doing the author, who certainly deserves better, an immense disservice.

Do everyone a favor and keep your reviews on-topic. They are supposed to be about the book [plot, character, structure, style, etc.], not customer service, not Amazon pricing policies, and certainly not your wallet. There are other forums for that. Go post your off-topic rants there.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Kaiser VINE VOICE on July 31, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Tom Rob Smith's final book in his excellent series went in directions I wasn't expecting. Events unfolded that kept me on the edge of my seat, unprepared for the harrowing, frightening, and ultimately bittersweet denouement of a great story. I closed the book with a sense of deep sadness that I wouldn't be visiting Leo in the future, but satisfied with how Smith concluded Leo's journey. Leo's bravery and honor in the first two books are tested and beaten down in the beginning of Agent 6. Eventually, Leo finds his way back and resolves the issues that almost destroyed him. I'm not being specific in order to prevent spoilers, but let me say that readers of the first two books will stay thoroughly involved in Leo's struggles and search for revenge. Also unexpected, Smith brings a tenderness to the finale that left me in tears. He's done a masterful job with all three books. I'm hoping that he continues to write, imbuing a new series of books with the same insightful, well-researched, character-driven stories as he has done with these three. Bravo Mr. Smith.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on January 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is much too early in the year to even begin discussing such things, but I am confident that AGENT 6 will be on several "Best of the Year" lists. The concluding volume of a trilogy that includes the haunting CHILD 44 and the unforgettable THE SECRET SPEECH, it continues Tom Rob Smith's penchant for exhaustive detail and claustrophobic atmosphere.

Leo Demidov's career as a Moscow secret policeman shapes and informs the events that take place, even as he makes a life for himself outside of the law enforcement arena. AGENT 6 begins in 1950, telling the story of how Demidov first met his beloved wife, Raisa. The narrative continues through 1965, when Demidov, who has become a respected manager of a small factory, loses everything he holds dear in the space of a heartbeat. Grieving and seeking revenge, he is prevented by the Communist state from investigating the cause of the tragedy or the impetus behind it. But he is not one to be denied, as those familiar with CHILD 44 and THE SECRET SPEECH know all too well. Over the course of the next 15 years, Demidov relentlessly follows a complex and tortuous path, one that takes him from Russia to the war-torn mountains of Afghanistan and finally to New York.

Along the way, the author captures the mood and the era scrupulously against several different backdrops. One knows, almost from the beginning of the book, that things are not going to end well, as the Soviet Union passes from the terrifying and murderous rule of Josef Stalin through Leonid Brezhnev's rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Soviet ship of state as he steered it resolutely into the economic iceberg that had been its destiny from the beginning. Demidov is older and exhausted, yet more resolute than ever, while at the same time he is arguably more flawed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen K. Porter on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Child 44 and The Secret Speech were excellent, and I really looked forward to Agent 6. I just finished it, and I recommend it to others so they can finish the trilogy. However, I do think it could have been a lot better for one basic reason: The Afghanistan diversion was just that - a real diversion, a distraction. A frustrating distraction.

I was totally frustrated with Smith's taking us from a compelling story in Russia and New York, then carrying us off to Afghanistan. The reader suspects that he will finish the original story - but he takes too long to get back to it. He could have done this whole Afghanistan "distraction" in about a quarter of the space. He needed to focus more on the mystery that consumes Leo. Additionally, I never found Nara a well developed character - she was just another distraction. And I wondered for most of the book, "Who is Agent 6?" He could have developed that character more fully instead of the Afghanistan "adventure."

Also, when I finished The Secret Speech, I was most curious about how Zoya, the "problem child," would develop. So I picked up Agent 6 expecting to find out about her right at the outset. It just never happens - instead, he focuses on Elena; and Zoya is a minor character. That was very disappointing.

I also liked the Paul Robeson character (Jessie Austin) - Smith might have developed that character more (instead of carrying Leo off to Afghanistan)! In fact, as an aside, the book prompted me to read more about Robeson. I have passed the house where he died in West Philadelphia many times, and I remember when he died; and I now want to visit that house and to read more about Robeson, an American hero and icon who has been maligned and/or forgotten by too many.
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