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 streets of Moscow in the throes of political upheaval, to the Siberian gulags, and to the center of the Hungarian uprisings in Budapest, The Secret Speech is a breathtaking, epic novel ... (back cover of the audio book)
Tom Rob Smith's second book in a trilogy, The Secret Speech is just as good if not better than the first book Child 44. Leo declares that he is a changed man, but many people from his past and present think otherwise including his oldest adopted daughter. And someone from his past is out for revenge, with an anger so consuming that it has completely changed this person's life. Leo will now see both sides of his past when he must concede to this person's wishes in order to save his daughter's life. The narration is great, the story suspenseful, and the details a bit unsettling. All packaged together, The Secret Speech is a great book and a must read. I can't wait to read the final installment in this exciting Russian thriller.