I don't read many novels but "Child 44" by Tom Rob Smith was something else, that rare novel that just grabs you by the lapels and forces you to read on. What the author, Tom Rob Smith, has done is remarkable, taking you back into the crazy, paranoid, conspiratorial, vicious and Kafkaesque world of Stalin's Soviet Union in a way only fiction could. Smith's protagonist, Leo Demidov of the secret police, discovers to his amazement that crime exists in the Soviet Union where communism has purportedly eliminated all the capitalist conditions that lead to crime. From there, it's one wild ride through Stalin's deadly and psychotic police state. The ending is lame but the journey makes it all worthwhile. I read it in a weekend, it was that good.