The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

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Tom Rob Smith-the author whose debut, Child 44, has been called "brilliant" (Chicago Tribune), "remarkable" (Newsweek) and "sensational" (Entertainment Weekly)-returns with an intense, suspenseful new novel: a story where the sins of the past threaten to destroy the present, where families must overcome unimaginable obstacles to save their loved ones, and where hope for a better tomorrow is found in the most unlikely of circumstances . . .
Soviet Union, 1956. Stalin is dead, and a violent regime is beginning to fracture-leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. A secret speech composed by Stalin's successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant. Its promise: The Soviet Union will change.
Facing his own personal turmoil, former state security officer Leo Demidov is also struggling to change. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the death of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa, and their family are in grave danger from someone consumed by the dark legacy of Leo's past career. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
From the streets of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, THE SECRET SPEECH is a breathtaking, epic novel that confirms Tom Rob Smith as one of the most exciting new authors writing today.


About Tom Rob Smith

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Tom Rob Smith graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 and lives in London. His first novel, Child 44, was a New York Times bestseller and an international publishing sensation. Among its many honors, Child 44 won the ITW 2009 Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. You can visit Tom's website at and follow @tomrobsmith on Twitter.
Published April 28, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing. 428 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Speech

The New York Times

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A member of the Soviet secret police with blood on his hands seeks redemption as Stalin’s era ends in this sequel to “Child 44.”

Jun 21 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

The Guardian

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That is the situation faced by ex-KGB agent Leo Demidov in Tom Rob Smith's relentless new thriller.

Apr 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

The Guardian

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When Tom Rob Smith's first novel, Child 44, appeared on last year's Booker longlist, it was a "told you so" moment for fans of crime fiction, who had long felt the genre to be unfairly scorned or ignored.

Apr 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

Book Reporter

Unrelentingly grim, it concerned a Soviet state security officer named Leo Demidov, whose assignment to a remote corner of Stalin’s Soviet Empire is a de facto exile.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech


Despite my love for Child 44, Tom Rob Smith’s critically-acclaimed debut novel, I hadn’t been planning on reading its sequel, The Secret Speech.

Jul 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech


Demidov has to face his past guilt head-on, a particularly difficult task when he goes into the prisons where those he’s arrested have spent years in agony.

Jun 16 2015 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

Blogger News Network

On February 26, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, the then-leader of the Soviet Union, addressed a closed session of the 20th Communist Party Congress and denounced the cult of personality of his predecessor, Josef Stalin.

Sep 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

Bookmarks Magazine

English author Tom Rob Smith burst onto the literary scene in 2008 with his debut novel, Child 44 ( 3.5 of 5 Stars July/Aug 2008), which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.

May 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Secret Speech

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