Review of ‘The Secret Speech’ by Tom Rob Smith

The-Secret-Speech Tom Rob Smith, The Secret Speech (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2009). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

On February 25, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev delivered a speech to a closed session of the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The speech, which was formally titled “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” criticized Josef Stalin, his prosecution of the Great Patriotic War (World War II), his multiple purges of the armed forces and party leadership, and other politically driven crimes against the Soviet people.

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!


P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my review page.

Review of ‘Agent 6’ by Tom Rob Smith

Agent-6 Tom Rob Smith, Agent 6 (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2012). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

Agent 6 is the third book in Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 Trilogy. It follows ex-KGB officer Leo Demidov over three decades and across three continents as he seeks to unravel a conspiracy and avenge the murder of a loved one. Usually, when I read a series that features a central character, I try to read the books in order. I didn’t do that with Agent 6 because it arrived before the other two, and I wanted to crack it open immediately. I’m not sure if I missed any necessary backstory; I’ll find that out when I read the Child 44 and The Secret Speech. What I’m sure of is this: This was an engrossing read. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. For me, that’s the mark of a good mystery: It grabs you and won’t let you go until you see the solution. I look forward to reading Smith’s other books.

P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my review page.

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