Monthly Archives: November 2018

Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith


child 44

To stand up for someone was to stitch your fate into the lining of theirs.

There’s nothing more stubborn than a fact. That is why you hate them so much. They offend you.

Trust but check. Check on those we trust.

—Isn’t this how it starts? You have a cause you believe in, a cause worth dying for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing innocent people for.

The price of this story was the audience’s innocence.

His hate wasn’t professional; it was an obsession, a fixation, as if unrequited love had grown awful, twisted into something ugly.

The survival of their political system justified anything. The promise of a golden age where none of this brutality would exist, where everything would be in plenty and poverty would be a memory, justified anything.

Sentimentality could blind a man to the truth. Those who appear the most trustworthy deserve the most suspicion.

The duty of an investigator was to scratch away at innocence until guilt was uncovered. If no guilt was uncovered then they hadn’t scratched deep enough.

“….a man both handsome and repulsive in equal measure-as if his good looks were plastered over a rotten centre, a hero’s face with a henchman’s heart.

For decades no one had taken action according to what they believed was right or wrong but by what they thought would please their Leader.

Precautionary measure. With those words any deaths could be justified. Better to destroy your own people than there be a chance a German soldier might find a loaf of bread.

We should measure a man by what they’re prepared to do themselves. Not by what they’re prepared to have others do for them.

There was no chance you could be found innocent inside these walls. It was an assembly line of guilt.”

Was the difference merely that Vasili was senselessly cruel while he’d been idealistically cruel? One was an empty, indifferent cruelty while the other was a principled, pretentious cruelty which thought of itself as reasonable and necessary.