10-01-2008 03:02 PM
Additional Recommended Reading
Tom Rob Smith
A gripping novel about one man's dogged pursuit of a serial killer against the opposition of Stalinist state security forces, Child 44 is at once suspenseful and provocative. Tom Rob Smith's remarkable debut thriller powerfully dramatizes the human cost of loyalty, integrity, and love in the face of totalitarian terror. A decorated war hero driven by dedication to his country and faith in the superiority of Communist ideals, Leo Demidov has built a successful career in the Soviet security network, suppressing ideological crimes and threats against the state with unquestioning efficiency. When a fellow officer's son is killed, Leo is ordered to stop the family from spreading the notion that their child was murdered. For in the official version of Stalin's worker's paradise, such a senseless crime is impossible — an affront to the Revolution. But Leo knows better: a murderer is at large, cruelly targeting children, and the collective power of the Soviet government is denying his existence. Leo's doubt sets in motion a chain of events that changes his understanding of everything he had previously believed. Smith's deftly crafted plot delivers twist after chilling twist, as it lays bare the deceit of the regime that enveloped an impoverished people in paranoia. In a shocking effort to test Leo's loyalty, his wife, Raisa, is accused of being a spy. Leo's refusal to denounce her costs him his rank, and the couple is banished from Moscow. Humiliated, renounced by his enemies, and deserted by everyone save Raisa, Leo realizes that his redemption rests on finding the vicious serial killer who is eviscerating innocent children and leaving them to die in the bleak Russian woods. The narrative unfolds at a breathless pace, exposing the culture of fear that turns friends into foes and forces families to hide devastating secrets. As Leo and Raisa close in on the serial killer, desperately trying to stay a step ahead of the government's relentless operatives, the reader races with them through a web of intrigue to the novel's heart-stopping conclusion.
The Man Who Smiled
In this riveting Henning Mankell thriller, a disillusioned Inspector Kurt Wallander finds himself in a deep personal and professional crisis after killing a man in the line of duty. After almost a year of sick leave, he hits rock bottom and resolves to quit the police force for good. Against his better judgment Wallander stays on the force when unforeseen circumstances compel him to investigate the murder of a friend. While working closely with Ann-Britt Hoglund, the department’s first female detective, he stumbles on a horrific world where human body parts are traded like stock, and just as he comes close to uncovering the truth, the same shadowy threats responsible for the murders close in on Wallander himself.
Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is called to the sleepy coastal town of Kalbringen to assist the local police in the investigation of two recent ax murders. Soon the case turns from bad to worse when another body turns up and one of Van Veeteren’s colleagues, a young female detective, disappears without a trace. Now Van Veeteren must find the killer, and, it is hoped, his colleague, before anyone else comes to harm. Riveting and intellectually satisfying, Borkmann’s Point unfolds like a chess match where each move could prove deadly.
The Princess of Burundi
This spellbinding thriller opens when a young father fails to show up for supper on a snowy night just before Christmas. His is not the only sinister disappearance, and before the final breathtaking climax, a secret killer terrorizes an entire frightened town.