"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Mar 15, 2011

Read Something! _The Secret Speech_ (Tom Rob Smith)

The Secret Speech
407 pp.
Thriller/Suspense, Historical Fiction
Sequel to Child 44


Having solved the serial murders of 44 children, Leo Demidov has been put in charge of a secret, newly created department to investigate homicides. But life is not easy. Leo struggles to win the affection of his two adopted daughters, in whose parents' death he played a role. Then a secret speech given by Khrushchev, Stalin's successor, is distributed to the entire nation. The speech portrays Stalin's regime as tyrannical, casts blame on those who supported it, and promises change.

At the same time, someone starts killing off former officers and collaborators from Stalin's regime. And the culprit has a particular interest in Leo, and in what he might be forced to do -- or to endure -- for the sake of a daughter who hates him.

Appeal characteristics

  • Frame: Lots of historical/period detail; clearly thoroughly researched
  • Characterization: Relationships between characters are very important/emphasized
  • Characterization: Strong female characters
  • Plot: Some subplots/parallel plots, but they tend to tie back in to the main plot somehow
  • Plot: Elaborate plot with lots of twists and turns
  • Pacing: Fast-paced; short chapters/sections
Other notes
  • There is violence, but it is not extremely graphic
  • My Noting: Books entry on The Secret Speech: http://notingbooks.com/users/hbackman/readings/6199-The-Secret-Speech
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