The Secret Speech: Child 44, Book 2 Livres audio Audible – Version intégrale
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Soviet Union, 1956: Stalin is dead. With his passing, a violent regime is beginning to fracture—leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. The catalyst comes when a secret manifesto composed by Stalin's successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant and a murderer. Its promise: The Soviet Union will transform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget Stalin's tyranny so easily, that demand revenge of the most appalling nature.
Meanwhile, former MGB officer Leo Demidov is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his involvement in the murder of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
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Détails sur le produit
|Durée||12 heures et 46 minutes|
|Auteur||Tom Rob Smith|
|Date de publication sur Audible.fr||10 novembre 2022|
|Éditeur||Simon & Schuster Audio UK|
|Type de programme||Livre audio|
Meilleures évaluations de France
Un problème s'est produit lors du filtrage des commentaires. Veuillez réessayer ultérieurement.
Excellent thriller, "The Secret Speech", malgré quelques micro longueurs,ne déçoit que peu. Difficile de le lâcher!
Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays
Another less easily defined reason is the characters, and this has multiple fronts. Firstly, Leo has changed and whilst he is undoubtedly a better man, he is far less interesting for it. He is looking for redemption, and becomes far more meek and mild - almost like a whipped dog at points. His wife Raisa is a strong character and could possibly have carried the book if it had been done from her perspective. The two children Elena and Zora are respectively a blank canvas and an annoying brat, and where this might have been brought to the fore with an explanation of their psychological trauma, it is not. They left me bored and irritated by turns, but I can't say I ever cared about them.
It is then never explained how Fraera took control of an underground criminal group and without that background, I can't help but find that unrealistic. It is clear from descriptions that these gangs are actively misogynistic; they'll love their mothers but they'll never take orders from a woman. Without the background to understand how this happened therefore, it is difficult to credit this as believable. The gang behind her are never fleshed out as more than brainless louts, so the only other character worth following really is the street urchin turned assassin under her care. Whilst he is certainly one of the more interesting characters though, he is essentially a bit player and you never see events from his perspective.
So, eh. If I hadn't read Child 44 then I'd consider this a solid if uninspiring read. The problem is that I wouldn't have picked this up without reading the earlier volume, and it didn't deliver to the same standard. There are too many hair raising escapes and death defying events for it to count as the same genre. It doesn't seem as credible or realistic, instead feeling as though the author is relying on flashy action scenes and sappy family moments to carry it through instead of intelligence. I'll likely read the third, but more in homage to Child 44 than because of this.
Set three years after Child 44 and after Stalin's death. I liked that both this (and the previous novel) are based on real events, it's a period of time I knew very little about and the author successfully manages to set his story to a realistic politically tense time in history.
The 'secret speech' has been made by the new leader Nikita Khrushchev in a bid to put the violence and torture of Stalin's regime behind him and the country. This is good news, a new and more fair way to live except that not everyone believes so and there are many who, in following the old regime, feel under threat. In this novel though, they have more to worry about than the change in itself...there appears to be some victims who are happy to turn the tables on their former oppressors and make them fear for their and their families lives!
I liked the premise, the setting and large parts of the story but I just didn't feel this novel was as gripping as Child 44. I had moments during this one where my thoughts drifted and didn't absorb the text as well as it should have. Character-wise, some of them were lacking in realism, seeming unbelievably 'soft'. There were too many predictive outcomes which was a shame because I especially enjoyed in the first book that it WAS unpredictable, Rob-Smith didn't seem scared to pull the trigger on some of his characters. This in contrast was a little too 'tidy' for me.
The plot does move around a lot but there is still a strong reason for this, and as the story unfolds it makes sense and fully accords with the sense of paranoia and extreme measures that were necessary in Russia in the 50s. Personally I felt that all of the action added to the suspense and didn't in any way detract from it.
Seeing as quite a few people having read, and enjoyed, Child 44 didn't enjoy this book I clearly can't guarantee that you will enjoy it, but I know for sure that I couldn't put it down and enjoyed it from start to finish. I think the best thing to do is just to forget about your expectations and read it and allow Tom to take you on his journey.
Those same elements are present in The Secret Speech, along with the fantastic characters from Child 44. Leo Demidov grows throughout the story, much as he does in the previous book & yet never loses the traits that mark the original character, & his relationship with his family is explored well, forming the main drive of Leo. That same drive again holds the reader as you follow Leo.
And yet there is something missing. The Secret Speech lacks the edge that Child 44 had, almost as if the author held back, trying not to overdo it while still trying to put a lot into the story & offer a big plot.
My problem is the sense of timescale, or lack of. Leo seems to go from Western Russia, to Eastern Russia & back in a matter of days, a rather implausible concept considering the events that happen in between. I can see this being an area of weakness for Tom Rob Smith as Child 44 displayed some of the same problems at times.
I think the under lying issue is that this feels to much like a plot for two books that's been condensed & squished into one. However I enjoyed revisiting the well-developed characters Tom Rob Smith created & with a better sense of time & a bit less urgency in the plot then this would be a very good follow up rather than an adequate one.