Reviewed: “The Farm” by Tom Rob Smith

The FarmI wanted to read Tom Rob Smith’s THE FARM because I loved CHILD 44. The two books are different in almost every way. That being said, I enjoyed THE FARM very much.

THE FARM is the story of Daniel, a conflicted young man keeping secrets from his only family – his parents. Little does he know that his parents are keeping secrets that make his look pathetic and puny by comparison.

Tilde and Chris, Daniel’s parents, pack up their English home and move to what would seem to be a decrepit farm in Sweden for “retirement” rather than admit to him that the failing economy led to their entire savings being depleted. With Tilde being from Sweden, it seems like a natural thing to do and Daniel doesn’t question it.

The trouble arises from the secrets that Tilde ran away from when she left Sweden. These secrets, and probably the drastic change in environment after a stable life in England, lead to more trouble than Daniel or Chris could ever have imagined.

The story reads like one of dramatic suspense and thrill.

It’s not that, in the end.

It is a story of family.

A story of the very twisted things that can happen to the families that seem the most normal and well-adjusted. It’s a story of how one small secret can snowball into what would seem to be a conspiracy of epic proportions.

Also, on an even more somber note, it is the story of how mental illness can eat away at the cracks in a family until all that’s left are gaping chasms.

THE FARM is not an easy read, but it’s hard to put down. Short chapters and hints of information leave the reading eager to read just a little bit more in the hopes of finding something valuable out.

The novel doesn’t have the ending I expected it to have. But I couldn’t define an ending I expected it to have.

So that’s a good thing indeed.

(I received a copy of THE FARM through NetGalley in return for an honest, original review. My review will be cross-posted on my blog, NetGalley, and Goodreads.)

Reviewed: “Child 44” by Tom Rob Smith

Child 44As a history buff, a fiction lover, and someone who just wants a good book to read, this book hit every mark for me.

I couldn’t stop reading. And I wish the book wasn’t over.

Tom Rob Smith has created what is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. I learned more about Soviet Russia, and the average people who lived in mid-twentieth century Soviet Russia, in this fictional account of the time and place than I have in any other book.

It’s so strange to root for someone who worked for State Security in the USSR but Leo comes across as the one man who’s doing right, or trying to. He knows he’s not perfect, far from it, and after a bit he’s not afraid to admit it. He’s willing to use the same dedication he had to the State to find the man who is murdering children.

He never expects what he finds at the end of the path, and neither did I as the reader.

I was reading it in public. At one point I actually said “ooh” out loud. I got a few strange looks, but it was so worth it. I can’t wait to read this book again!

This is the review, copied word for word, that I posted on