Child 44 is a thriller novel by British writer Tom Rob Smith, and features disgraced MGB Agent Leo Demidov, who investigates a series of gruesome child murders in Stalin's Soviet Union.
The novel is based on real Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, also known as the Rostov Ripper, who was responsible for 52 murders in communist Russia. In addition to highlighting the problem of Soviet-era criminality in a state where "there is no crime," the novel also explores the paranoia of the age, the education system, the secret police apparatus, orphanages, Homosexuality in the USSR and mental hospitals.
The book is the first part of a trilogy. The second part is called The Secret Speech and also features the character of Leo Demidov and his wife, Raisa.
Child 44 was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008 and won the Waverton Good Read Award in 2009.