The main characters introduced in Smith's debut, Child 44, continue their ferocious saga to find love and consolation against a backdrop of the totalitarian Soviet state. In 1956, copies of Khrushchev's anti-Stalin speech are delivered to officials responsible for the purges and repressions, thus releasing a new round of murders and suicides. At the same time, a second plot twines with the first as ex-lovers from Child 44 grapple in a macabre contest of vengeance and hate. Smith has proven his brutal touch when describing human conflict. With this thriller, he offers a fierce account of fighting onboard a storm-wracked prison ship on the Sea of Okhotsk-a hair-raising scene, alone worth the cost of the book. For all popular collections; be ready for short-term demand owing to heavy promotion. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, was raised as a Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992 Hirsi Ali went to the Netherlands as a refugee, escaping a forced marriage to a distant cousin she had never met. She denounced Islam after 9/11 and now works as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and for security in the West.