The Secret Speech (The Child 44 Trilogy)
Tom Rob Smith
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Tom Rob Smith-the author whose debut, Child 44, has been called "brilliant" (Chicago Tribune), "remarkable" (Newsweek) and "sensational" (Entertainment Weekly)-returns with an intense, suspenseful new novel: a story where the sins of the past threaten to destroy the present, where families must overcome unimaginable obstacles to save their loved ones, and where hope for a better tomorrow is found in the most unlikely of circumstances . . .
THE SECRET SPEECH
Soviet Union, 1956. Stalin is dead, and a violent regime is beginning to fracture-leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. A secret speech composed by Stalin's successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant. Its promise: The Soviet Union will change.
Facing his own personal turmoil, former state security officer Leo Demidov is also struggling to change. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the death of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa, and their family are in grave danger from someone consumed by the dark legacy of Leo's past career. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
From the streets of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, THE SECRET SPEECH is a breathtaking, epic novel that confirms Tom Rob Smith as one of the most exciting new authors writing today.
attach an emotional response to a situation I didn’t understand. I wouldn’t cry. There were too many unanswered questions to cry. After the shower I sat at my computer studying the emails sent by my mum over the past five months, wondering if there were hints that I’d missed. I hadn’t seen my parents since they moved to Sweden in April. At their farewell to England party we’d toasted their peaceful retirement. All of the guests, my parents’ closest friends, had stood outside their old home and
outside the two closed doors she paused. She wanted to check for herself. I put my arm around her, guiding her upstairs, and said: “I promise, it’s just you and me.” Standing in the open-plan kitchen and living room, the heart of Mark’s apartment, my mum was fascinated with her first look at my home. She studied the various possessions. Mark had always described his taste as minimalist, relying on the view over the city to provide character. When I’d moved in there was barely any furniture. Far
apps, sign up for our newsletters. Sign Up Or visit us at hachettebookgroup.com/newsletters For more about this book and author, visit Bookish.com. Contents COVER TITLE PAGE WELCOME DEDICATION SOVIET UNION SAME DAY SEVEN YEARS LATER MOSCOW 13 MARCH SAME DAY SAME DAY 14 MARCH SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY 15 MARCH THREE WEEKS LATER WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN SOVIET TERRITORIAL WATERS SEA OF OKHOTSK STARY BOLSHEVIK PRISON SHIP SAME DAY SAME DAY SAME DAY
would have had no plans to escape. They would have had no plans at all. Waiting in silence, there was no sign of Gulag 57’s commander, Zhores Sinyavksy, a man whose reputation had spread beyond the Gulags, carried out by the survivors and cursed across the country. Fifty-five years old, Sinyavksy was a veteran of the Glavnoe upravlenie lagerei—Gulag for short—his entire adult life dedicated to enforcing lethal servitude. He’d overseen convict construction projects including the Fergana Canal
toward Nina. Concerned, Panin also stood up, tense. Leo put his hand on her shoulder: —Isn’t this how we used to interrogate our suspects? A loved one present, the implications clear, if the suspect failed to give the correct answer, the loved one would be punished? —I’m answering your questions, Leo. —You authorized the murder of men and women who served the State? —Many of them were murderers themselves. In my position, they would have done the same thing. —What position is that? —Leo,