In Russia in 1956, a secret speech delivered by Kuschev, which denounces the criminal acts of Stalin and his secret security officers, has been released to the public. Soon former officers are being killed and Leo Deminov finds himself fighting to save his family from a woman that will stop at nothing to get revenge for his past deeds. From the politics of Moscow to the Siberian gulags to uprisings on the streets of Budapest, Leo tries to overcome his past and redeem himself ~ particularly in the eyes of his adoptive daughter who still blames him for her parents' deaths.
In The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith, we revisit the characters of his first novel, Child 44. But you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy this one. There is plenty of action, lots of twists and turns, and tons of historical references to Russia. Smith definitely presents a harsh, cold image of the country. And he shows the diverse reactions to Kruschev's desire for change, from the guards at the gulags who refused to accept change to the students who began the Hungarian Revolution. In addition, Smith brings family to the forefront of this novel as Leo tries to hold his family together.
I really enjoyed The Secret Speech. It wasn't as disturbing as Child 44, although there was plenty of violence in this one as well. It's a engaging historical thriller that will keep you turning the pages to find out how it is all going to work out in the end.
My Rating: 4/5
For more information, visit the author's website.
Read my review of Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
This review was written based on a copy of The Secret Speech that I purchased.