Reviews

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson @joGustawsson @OrendaBooks #Block46 #JohanaGustawsson #FrenchNoir #RoyandCastells

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Book Description

Falkenberg, Sweden.  The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.

Hampstead Heath, London.  The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds.

Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944.  In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Ebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true-crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case.  They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

My Thoughts

Another author / series I wasn’t familiar with until recently, I was prompted to read this book due to being lucky enough to get on the Keeper blog tour and hearing many great bloggers referring to this book as being outstanding.

My hopes were high for this one, so I was surprised to find this book rather slow, that is until about 50 pages in when I sat down to a bit of quiet reading time and found myself well and truly gripped.  The kind of book that once it grabs you, it keeps a tight hold until the very last page…the very last word.

2 women, linked through their professional involvement in crime form a bond when Alexis strives to find out why her friend was murdered.  We learn Linnea Blix was not the first victim and this heinous killing is as intriguing as it is sick.

This plot was solid, I loved the Concentration Camp aspect which was insightful and I was pleased the author did not shy away from the atrocities committed at this time, although not necessarily easy to read about.  The roles of the 2 lead women as non police, but still investigators gave the story a slightly different slant, with minimum emphasis on the police aspect while maintaining a strong position in the crime fiction genre.

As with lots of fiction in this area, this book was written ‘in real time’ to the hour and in the third person.  As such the chapters were pretty short, preventing the writing from feeling dense and prompting the reader to read, ‘just one more chapter’.  We didn’t know who the killer was but we gained some insight via a more subjective third person narrative, which gave the sense of being inside the killer’s mind.  As a reader this book revealed itself to me as it progressed, I didn’t ‘work out’ the ending and while there was a definite direction as clues were discovered the intricacies remained a mystery to me until they were uncovered.

Overall this was a great read, with a sharp and gritty edge making it superior in my opinion to many others in this genre.  I’m intrigued to find out what is next for these 2 women, a crime writer and a profiler, not a natural partnership but in this book felt very authentic and hopefully will continue to be.

As always, thanks for reading and happy reading to all!

 

3 thoughts on “Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson @joGustawsson @OrendaBooks #Block46 #JohanaGustawsson #FrenchNoir #RoyandCastells

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