The Child Thief

By Dan Smith | Paperback
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December 1930, Western Ukraine. Luka is a veteran of the First World War and the Russian Civil War. All he wants now is a quiet life with his wife, twin sons and young daughter. Their small village has, so far, managed to remain hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality and labour camp deportations. But everything changes the day the stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing the bodies of two children. In a fervour, the villagers lynch the stranger, despite Luka's protests. But when calm is restored, the mob leader, Dimitri, discovers his daughter has vanished. Luka is the only man with the skills to find who could have stolen a child in these frozen white wastelands - and besides, the missing girl is best friends with Luka's daughter Lara, and he promises her that he will find her friend and bring her home. Together with his sons and Dimitri, Luka sets out in pursuit across lands ravaged by war and gripped by treachery. Soon they realise that the man they are tracking is a no ordinary criminal, but a skilful hunter with the kidnapped child as the bait in his violent game.
It will take all of Luka's strength to battle the harshest of conditions, and all of his wit to stay a step ahead of Soviet authorities. And though his toughest enemy is the man he tracks, his strongest bond is a whispered promise to his family back at home. 

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Author
FormatPaperback 
Pages368 
Dimensions234mm x 154mm x 27mm
PublisherOrion Publishing Co 
Release Date10 May 2012 
ISBN-139781409142621 

Kerre's Choice

12 Jul 2012, 5:15pm | Review by Kerre Woodham
Fans of Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 will love The Child Thief.  Set in a small village in the Ukraine, in the winter of 1930, the people of Vyriv are living in fear.  It seems only a matter of time before Stalin’s troops find their tiny village and force the people to surrender their property to the state.  Those who had not already fled the village believe they have one of three choices; deportation, a labour camp, or death.  So when Luka and his sons find a dying man on the outskirts of the village, pulling a sled carrying two dead children, the village erupts.   They drag the man from Luka’s home and lynch him, believing him to be a child murderer.  But then Luka’s niece goes missing and the village knows Luka is the only man who can find the child thief.  And so begins a lethal game of cat and mouse with Luka pitted against the most dangerous adversary he’s ever met.  Recommended.
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