- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0058M76B6
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 339 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret Speech Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 1956, bestseller Smith's edgy second thriller to feature Leo Demidov (after Child 44) depicts the paranoia and instability of the Soviet Union after the newly installed Khrushchev regime leaks a secret speech laying out Stalin's brutal abuses. Now working as a homicide detective, Leo has long since repudiated his days as an MGB officer, but his former colleagues, fearful of reprisals from their victims, have begun taking their own lives. Leo himself becomes the target of Fraera, the wife of a priest he imprisoned. Now the leader of a violent criminal gang, Fraera kidnaps Leo's daughter, Zoya, and threatens to kill Zoya if Leo doesn't liberate her husband from his gulag prison. Shifting from Moscow to Siberia and to a Hungary convulsed by revolution, this fast-paced novel is packed with too many incidents for Smith to dwell on any in great depth. Though its drama often lacks emotional resonance, this story paints a memorable portrait of post-Stalinist Russia at its dawn. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Compared to the critical acclaim showered on its predecessor, Child 44, The Secret Speech drew mixed reviews from critics. While the Minneapolis Star Tribune alone proclaimed Smith's sophomore effort equal to his debut, other critics still considered it entertaining and thought-provoking in its questioning of the nature of exoneration and redemption. The power of Smith's writing lies in his ability to ground sensational plot developments in rich historical and cultural detail, gleaned from extensive research. His gift for immersing readers deep within Cold War-era Moscow and Siberia propels the plot as much as his chase scenes and action sequences. Though it may not possess the psychological tension or strong, convincing characters of Child 44, Speech is still an "insanely exciting story" (Independent). --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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Top customer reviews
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Tom Rob Smith uses Khrushchev’s speech as his point of departure in The Secret Speech, the second volume in his Child 44 trilogy. The question it ponders is this: When the State becomes criminal, can criminals exact justice? As always, Leo Demidov is at the center of the action, traveling from Moscow to Kolyma to Budapest to uncover the truth and protect himself and his family in the process. As with Smith’s other volumes in this series, the pacing is swift and the plot twists are sharp.
Highly recommended, but read the books in order of the series!
What do I mean by “For the most part”? The first part of the novel leaves you breathless and exhausted. The plot is left unresolved, but the book should be over. Then…. It starts up again and it is literally too much. Add to that the villain starts to display incredible powers like some kind of superhero, er, supervillain. Everything goes completely overboard.
So, for the most part, The Secret Speech is fantastic but ultimately it suffers from overkill. That said, will I go ahead and read the third installment, Agent 6? Of course, I wouldn’t miss it.
Smith always does his homework and the reader is lucky to learn about Khrushchev's secret speech and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. But do keep in mind that this is a popular suspense fiction not meant to be enlightened.
It is exciting and I had trouble putting it down. I loved following Leo's journey from Moscow to Siberia to Hungary.
I don't recommend this for the highbrow reader but for the suspense reader. If you enjoyed Child 44, I encourage you to continue the trilogy.
Most recent customer reviews
Very good quality, delivered in time promised.
Set three years after Child 44 and after Stalin's death. I liked that both this (and the previous novel) are based on real events, it's a period of time I knew very...Read more