In Stalin´s Soviet Union, crime does not exist. But still millions live in fear. The mere suspicion of disloyalty to the State, the wrong word at the wrong time, can send an innocent person to his execution.
Officer Leo Demidov, an idealistic war hero, believes he´s building a perfect society. But after witnessing the interrogation of an innocent man, his loyalty begins to waver, and when ordered to investigate his own wife, Raisa, Leo is forced to choose where his heart truly lies.
Then the impossible happens. A murderer is on the loose, killing at will, and every belief Leo has ever held is shattered. Denounced by his enemies and exiled from home, with only Raisa by his side, he must risk everything to find a criminal that the State won´t admit even exists. On the run, Leo soon discovers the danger isn´t from the killer he is trying to catch, but from the country he is trying to protect.
Tom Rob Smith was born in l979 to a Swedish mother and an English father and was brought up in London where he still lives. He graduated from Cambridge in 2001 and spent a year in Italy on a creative writing scholarship. Tom has worked as a screenwriter for the past five years, including a six-month stint in Phnom Penh storylining Cambodia's first ever soap. His first novel, CHILD 44, was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize, and won the Crime Writers' Association's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best adventure/thriller novel of 2008, and the American edition won Best Debut at the International Thriller Awards and Best Debut at the Strand Magazine awards.