Happy paperback publication day to Johana Gustawsson and ‘Blood Song’, I am so pleased to be today’s stop on the blog tour! Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for both the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:
The action swings from London to Sweden, and then back into the past, to Franco’s Spain, as Roy & Castells hunt a monstrous killer … in the lastest instalment of Johana Gustawsson’s award-winning series
The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.
Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.
Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.
What does TWG think?
As ignorant as this may sound, I wasn’t aware of the atrocities that Spain dealt with in the late 1930’s….I am now though! I have absolutely no words! My heart broke for all of the people involved, for all of the people who lost their lives, and for those who lost their life and were forced to continue as a shell. ‘Blood Song’ isn’t a comfortable read at all, in fact I would go as far to say that it is a deeply uncomfortable and unsettling read, however my reaction was nothing compared to the pain of those living in Spain during Franco’s dictatorship.
‘Blood Song’ is a dual timeline novel as it switches between Spain in the past, and Sweden in the ‘present’ where Emily Roy and Alexis Castells find themselves with the task of finding the cold hearted culprit who murdered three people in their own home. Why were they killed? What secrets, if any, were they hiding?
The murder investigation angle of ‘Blood Song’ was so addictive! I loved being able to follow Emily Roy as she attempted to create a profile of the killer, or killers, based on the evidence left and they way they chose to murder. A profiler is such an underrated part of a police investgation, however I thought it was one of the most fascinating.
Emily Roy is an intriguing character, her personal guard is so far up, anyone would need a ladder should they attempt to get past it!
I really did enjoy the complexity of the storyline – I found the uncertainty incredibly intriguing whilst it also kept me on my toes. I did find the storyline to be a little confusing at times due to the way certain situations flitted from one another, making me concerned that I had missed something along the way. A little bit too staggered for me at times!
That said, I thought that Gustawsson dealt with the topics in the storyline phenomenally. The historical nature of the book, whilst being very dark, was written beautifully and I found myself becoming emotional at the fact that stories were being told and voices were being heard, even if the original victim wasn’t telling the story themselves.
A heartbreaking, suspenseful novel which combines historical fiction and crime in the most unique and eye-opening manner, ‘Blood Song’ is a truly unforgettable read.