Tom Rob Smith is an English novelist born in South London, England in 1979. He graduated from St John’s College in 2001 and subsequently studied creative writing at Parvin University in Italy. Before publishing his debut novel, Child 44, Smith worked as a screenwriter for a BBC Cambodian soap opera.
Child 44 is the first book in a series that tells the story of Leo Demidov, a devoted and idealistic police officer living in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Despite his strong support for the ideologies of his government, Demidov, throughout the course of the novel, starts to question the faith he has in Stalin’s regime. The second installation of the series, The Secret Speech, follows Leo’s life after Stalin’s death and during Khrushchev’s rise to power. The final book, Agent 6, tackles a unique perspective by alternating location and time periods; it moves from Moscow in the 1950s to the United States in the 1960s to Afghanistan in the 1980s. It explores how Leo balances the desire for justice and patriotism for his country.
When it was published in 2011, Agent 6 received much praise from critics and audiences alike. Paula Woods of The Los Angeles Times describes “Smith's exploration of love — from young Leo's zealous love of country at all costs to the love of a mature man who has given up his country, career and almost his humanity save one last reunion with his family” as the story’s “most haunting element.”
Since Agent 6 was released, Tom Rob Smith published a fourth novel, The Farm, in February 2014. He also worked on a drama series for BBC Two entitled London Spy, which first aired in November 2015. He has also contributed to various short stories and anthologies, including the book Unthology 4 which was nominated for the Edge Hill Prize in 2012. He has continued to write for radio and television, notably for the BBC and Channel 4. He has also lectured and written for The Guardian and The Sunday Times and was a judge for the Man Booker Prize in 2017. Smith has been awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger in the Library Award and the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008. His work has been translated into over thirty languages and is highly acclaimed internationally.