Block 46 – Johana Gustawsson (Roy & Castells Book 1)

About the Book: 

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 to Linnea’s. 

Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner 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.

About the Author: Born in 1978 in Marseille, France, and a graduate of Political Sciences, Johana Gustawsson was a journalist for television and French press. She now lives in London, England.

My Review: Having heard so many readers recommend Block 46 and Keeper, I thought I should finally try some French Noir and see what I was missing.

Without rehashing the plot which is described above,  I can say that Bl0ck 46 is without doubt a fast paced, “just one more chapter”, gripping, sadistic, disturbing book which I devoured in a day.  With two timelines, I found myself totally immersed in both stories.  The Concentration Camp in 1944 was sickening, upsetting and truly disturbing, but I couldn’t help but be fascinated by Erich Hebner’s story.  The present day storyline (2014) set in Hampstead, London and Sweden were equally as gripping.

As mentioned I read this within a day and downloaded the second book in this series, Keeper, and started it immediately.  Highly recommended for crime fans.

Coincidentally, in the middle of reading this book I went out to dinner in Hampstead Village and walked past Flask Walk where Emily Roy lives!

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