Child 44 is a very well done book. I usually do not care for books that involve victimization of children, and this one certainly has that. I don't feel like the violence done to or witnessed by the children in this story was gratuitous, however, and I feel like the author was careful to use it in effective illustration of much larger systemic problems and horrors perpetuated by the state.
Child 44 reminded me a lot of the Arkady Renko
books by Martin Cruz Smith
, but I found the terror unleashed by the Soviet State in Child 44 to be much more menacing, much more palpable, and perhaps even more realistic than it is in any of the Arkady Renko books. "The State" was a real and terrifying character in this book, and that kept me reading.