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The recurring line in “Child 44” is, “there is no murder in paradise.” It’s a reflection of the political image projected in the Soviet Union during the Stalin era — these were a paradisal states, free from Western ills like poverty and crime, and there was nothing more to say about it. But the backdrop of “Child 44” is Moscow in 1952, and it feels more like a hellhole of oppression than paradise.

Children between the ages of 9 and 14 are being knocked off one by one and none of the authorities are willing to admit they’re the victims of a gruesome serial killer. The deaths are called “accidents” and the reports are stuffed away in a steel filing cabinet.

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