The Secret Speech Review

The Secret Speech has been sitting in my to-read pile since I got it for my birthday last year but since so much of my reading time was dedicated to the A Song Of Ice And Fire series I've not long gotten round to this. It's the sequel to Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith, a book I really loved (see review here) so I was super keen to see if this matched up.

Leo Demidov is back and trying to play happy families in post-Stalin Russia. One of my complaints about the previous book was that the ending was too clichéd and happy (I know, I don't know why I'm so mean) but it appears all is not as it seems and Leo's family home isn't quite as idyllic as he and his wife Raisa would like. Despite trying to lead an honourable life now, his past as an officer for the state is beginning to catch up with him putting all of their lives in danger. Again, this book is based on real events (Krushchev's speech, the uprising in Hungary) and I found this interesting as I'd not read any fictional books set in this era. I bet in real life it was a weird time so I'd definitely like to read more about it!

I think Child 44 was more of a head spin but The Secret Speech was still good enough to keep me gripped and it only took me a few days to finish it (rare for me these days!) There's a final book in the trilogy, Agent 6, that I want to get my hands on although at first glance it seems a bit over the top - there were times I thought the first two books were a bit far fetched but this seems like something else! But I think where it mixes in real life history I forget that it's not actually a true story - it's a crime/action fictional novel so it's going to be a bit OTT! I can't wait to read it though, I've become quite attached to our characters - especially Zoya, I hope we see her develop more as a person as she seems quite kick-ass. I do like the fact that Leo is so flawed too, The Secret Speech reveals just how much of a horrid person he was so it's kind of taught me a bit about myself and how I feel about forgiveness etc - bit deep, I know! So although it has all these crazy action scenes and it's quite violent so there's always something to keep you on your toes but there's quite an interesting psychological aspect to the book too. We have men who have done terrible things trying to atone whilst the people they committed these atrocities against are out to get revenge so it does blur the line between who is good and who is bad. Although I found the 'villains' to be very clichéd at times, I really liked that our 'heroes' are flawed.

All in all I'd recommend this if you're a fan of twisty, action-packed thrillers.

Have you read this book? What thrillers can you recommend? 


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