In Falkenberg, Sweden, the mutilated body of talented young jewelry designer Linnea Blix is found in a snow-swept marina. In 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.
Welcome to my stop on the Block 46 blog tour! Block 46 absolutely blew me away. Johanna Gustawsson has created a taught and gripping thriller, that refuses to let the reader go. The writing in this book is sublime, as readers we are instantly transported between Sweden, London and the Buchenwald Concentration Camps in 1944. It was this aspect that I enjoyed most about Block 46. The different locations and time frames are very visually depicted, and the reader becomes completely engrossed in this compelling story.
This book is a dark one, and tackles a very difficult subject in the holocaust. The plot is well paced, giving the reader time to come up with theories and suggestions for what is going on, only to refute them guessing again. There are times when the book is scary and a little uncomfortable – the horrors of medical experimentation in Buchenwald is one such example. The other thing I really loved about this book is the way that the multiple threads and narrative start off seeming completely unconnected, but then begin to join together as the story progresses, it really helped to heighten the tension, and made me very eager to know what was going to happen next.
I also thought the characters were really excellently portrayed in Block 46. Some were likeable and some weren’t – I particularly liked French crime writer Alexis – but each one was skillfully written and displayed Gustawsson’s talent for creating complex and interesting characters. I won’t say much about the conclusion of the story, other than saying that it definitely makes you think, and stays with you long after you’ve finished reading. Block 46 is a very impressive crime thriller, and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Thanks for checking out my stop on the Block 46 blog tour, check out the tour poster below for all the other fabulous stops!