Soviet Union, 1956. Stalin is dead, and a violent regime is beginning to fracture- leaving behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. A secret speech composed by Stalin’s successor Khrushchev is distributed to the entire nation. Its message: Stalin was a tyrant. Its promise: The Soviet Union will change.
Facing his own personal turmoil, former state security officer Leo Demidov is also struggling to change. The two young girls he and his wife, Raisa, adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the death of their parents. They are not alone. Now that the truth is out, Leo, Raisa, and their family are in grave danger from someone consumed by the dark legacy of Leo’s past career. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance.
From the street of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprising in Budapest, THE SECRET SPEECH is a breathtaking, epic novel that confirms Tom Rob Smith as one of the most exciting new authors writing today.
Leo feels guilty for his past as an MGB officer under Stalin and in an attempt to right the wrongs that he has committed, at least in his own heart, he opens up shop as a private investigator. After the speech comes out all hell breaks loose so to say. His daughter is abducted, his wife his critically injured, and his youngest daughter is in denial. Several deaths have taken place, all with one common denominator. Now Leo must attempt to right this wrong he was ordered to commit in the face of these deaths and the danger to his family.
The Secret Speech is gripping and intriguing. I could not wait to get back on the road in order to finish listening to this audio book; if it were a print version I would say “a real page turner.” This is not normally a book that I would have picked up and read, but had it been a movie I would have been all over it though. It is intense with espionage and non-stop action. The characters are well developed and pull you into their lives. I was thoroughly shocked by how consumed I became while listening to the audio book.
Dennis Boutsikaris did an awesome job narrating this story; the dialect and accents of the characters that he portrayed (read) were very believable.