I have to say that when Child 44 was originally released, all of the hype was going to Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (another fantastic read if you haven't gotten to it yet). I read both of them pretty close together and I think style wise, if you like one, you should definitely check out the other. Where Tom Rob Smith differs, though, is that his books are set in Stalinist Russia, so they're historical thrillers. They are amazing, and his setting makes the books all that much more exciting.
So here you go:
It's been four years since Leo hunted down the serial killer in Child 44, and in that time he's been allowed to start his own homicide investigation office. During a case involving the death of a local printer, Leo determines that the man is actually a suicide, but discovers some interesting evidence that points to blackmail as a major factor. Meanwhile, Leo’s old boss approaches him to discuss a different blackmail case. The man is drunk and Leo puts him off until they are both rested. That evening the man kills his family before turning the gun on himself. And these two men are just the beginning. Though Russia is in a state of flux, someone is anxious to ensure that no one forgets the crimes of the past, and that includes Leo's own actions as an officer of the state. Making things worse is Leo’s tenuous home situation, which leaves him distracted when his adopted daughter is taken hostage. The Secret Speech will not disappoint fans of Smith's debut,Child 44. A total page-turner and an exciting continuation of Leo's story.
Congrats again to the folks who won The Secret Speech. I know you're going to enjoy it. And I highly recommend tracking down both books to anyone who is looking for a smart historical thriller.