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The child thief [text (large print)] / Dan Smith.

By: Smith, Dan, 1970-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Charnwood series.Publisher: Leicester : Charnwood ; Thorpe, 2013Edition: Large print edition.Description: 460 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781444814125 (hbk.); 1444814125.Subject(s): Large type books | Ukraine, Western -- History -- 20th century -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction) | Detective and mystery fiction. | Large type books.DDC classification: SMI Online resources: Click here to access online Summary: December 1930, Ukraine. Luka, a war veteran, wants a quiet life with his family. Their village is hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality - until the stranger arrives pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo. When the villagers' fear turns deadly, they think they've saved themselves. But their anger has cursed them: a little girl has vanished. In these frozen lands, Luka has the skills to find the one who stole the child. With his sons, he sets out in pursuit. They track down a skilful hunter who uses the child as the bait in his twisted game. Battling harsh conditions, Luka must stay ahead of Soviet authorities. His toughest enemy is the man he tracks, yet his strongest bond is a promise to his family back home.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Western Ukraine, 1930. Luka's village has managed to remain hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality and labour camp deportations. But everything changes when a stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing the bodies of two children. The stranger is lynched. Then the mob leader discovers his daughter has vanished.

Complete and unabridged.

Standard print edition originally published: London : Orion, 2012.

December 1930, Ukraine. Luka, a war veteran, wants a quiet life with his family. Their village is hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality - until the stranger arrives pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo. When the villagers' fear turns deadly, they think they've saved themselves. But their anger has cursed them: a little girl has vanished. In these frozen lands, Luka has the skills to find the one who stole the child. With his sons, he sets out in pursuit. They track down a skilful hunter who uses the child as the bait in his twisted game. Battling harsh conditions, Luka must stay ahead of Soviet authorities. His toughest enemy is the man he tracks, yet his strongest bond is a promise to his family back home.

Adult.

2 11 18 24 27 37 83 96 114 115 134 138 151

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In 1930, Soviet leader Stalin's cadres crushed Ukrainian villages to collectivize their farms and exile the kulaks (well-to-do peasant farmers) to Siberia, resulting in a great famine. So far the village of Vryiv has remained hidden from the authorities. But when villager Luka, a war vet and devoted family head, encounters a dying stranger pulling a sled with the butchered corpses of two children and brings him to the village, the villagers' fears turn into violence. In the midst of the chaos, Luka's niece vanishes, and Luka and his twin sons vow to save her. As a military tracker and sharpshooter, Luka has unusual skills, but his prey is wily and pitiless. Even worse misery befalls Luka when he is snared by soldiers enforcing the new farm policy. VERDICT Though in the gruesome vein of Tom Rob Smith's Child 44, Smith's (Dark Horizons) fourth adult novel laments "for the darkness that had come into this life and for the light that had gone out of it." Luka's inner dialogs show a core of moral strength and integrity that will keep readers on the edge of the chair rooting for him and his kin. Marked by clear writing and laser-portrait characterizations, the book builds a deftly-nuanced plot. The evocation of the frozen steppes will chill your beach-warmed bones.-Barbara Conaty, Falls Church, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

British author Smith (Dry Season) makes his U.S. debut with this highly atmospheric thriller set during the winter of 1930 in the Soviet Union. One day, a wounded stranger pulling a sled stumbles into Vyriv, a remote Ukrainian village. Two dead children lie on the sled, their bodies mutilated in a way that suggests cannibalism. The stranger soon dies, yet during his brief stay, nine-year-old Dariya goes missing into the nearby forest, the mythical home of "Baba Yaga," an old hag who eats children. As snow falls the next morning, the girl's uncle, WWI veteran Luka Mikhailovich Sidorov, gives chase with his twin 17-year-old sons. Days later, just as the three are closing in on their quarry, government agents capture Luka, who's subsequently interrogated and tortured. He manages to escape with a few clues to Dariya's disappearance and resumes his search. From the arresting opening to the tense finale, Smith doesn't hit a false note in this captivating tale of the power of the human spirit when pushed to the brink. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Luka is a soldier turned reluctant farmer, living a hand-to-mouth existence in a small Soviet village with his wife and children. While hunting, he finds a strange, sick man pulling a sled holding the bodies of two young children. Everyone in this small village lives in fear of the Communists taking their homes and putting them on work farms, so a stranger in their midst causes a panic. The townspeople turn on Luka and hang the unconscious man, scaring Luka's young niece and prompting her to flee. Or was she abducted? Luka sets off through the frozen wasteland with his twin teenage sons and the girl's father to find the girl and the man who took her. The terrain is barely passable and the weather is brutal, but Luka soldiers on, killing when he has to but determined to bring the girl home. The tone in this tightly written story is dark and disturbing, with tension mounting steadily until the unexpected ending. Sure to appeal to fans of David Benioff and Tom Rob Smith.--Alesi, Stacy Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Set in 1930, a former soldier must leave his quiet farm life in the outskirts of Soviet-controlled Ukraine to find his kidnapped niece. British author Smith's (Dark Horizons, 2011, etc.) latest thriller begins with Luka, a veteran of World War I and the Russian Civil War, discovering a mysterious stranger who is barely conscious and pulling a sled loaded with two dead children. When his neighbors in the small Ukrainian farming village learn of the children, Luka is unable to prevent the hastily formed mob from lynching the stranger. Luka's inner turmoil increases when his brother-in-law (and the leader of the hanging party) realizes that his daughter is missing and it becomes clear that Luka is the one person who has the skill set to recover the missing girl. With the potential threat of an encroaching Soviet police force sweeping the countryside, Luka leaves his wife and daughter behind and sets out with his twin sons into the harsh Ukrainian wilderness. The stakes are raised when Luka realizes that the kidnapper is using the young girl as bait to lure Luka and his sons into a dangerous labyrinth where their own lives are continually threatened. The tension steadily increases as Luka uses his military training in a battle of wits with the unknown kidnapper, and the division between the hunter and the hunted becomes more and more blurry. In a style that methodically builds suspense, Smith delivers the story of a hero able to rise to the challenge in the face of escalating troubles.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.