A terrifying look at a paranoid world where no one can be trusted. A surprising, unexpected story of love and family, of hope and resilience. CHILD 44 is a thriller unlike any you have ever experienced. Stalin's Soviet Union strives to be a paradise for its workers, providing for all of their needs. One of its fundamental pillars is that its citizens live free from the fear of ordinary crime and criminals. But in this society, millions do live in fear . . . of the State. The mere suspicion of ideological disloyalty sends millions of innocents into the Gulags or to their executions. Defending the system from its citizens is the MGB, the State Security Force. And no MGB officer is more courageous, conscientious, or idealistic than Leo Demidov. A war hero with a beautiful wife, Leo lives in relative luxury in Moscow. His only ambition has been to serve his country. For this greater good, he has arrested and interrogated. Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal–a murderer–is on the loose, killing at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, his world turned upside down, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover this criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, it's a crime against the State to suggest that a murderer–much less a serial killer–is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife remaining at his side, Leo must find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists. From the Compact Disc edition.