#BlogTour Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson. It’s historical fiction combined with fact and then topped off with an intriguing murder plot.

About the Author

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons. She drew on her own experience of fertility clinics and IVF to write Blood Song and is happy to speak and write pieces about this.

Follow @JoGustawsson  @Orendabooks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook, Visit johanagustawsson.com/en/Buy Blood Song

About the book

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells, and they soon find themselves on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer, in an investigation that 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…

Spain, 1938

The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa 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.Review

One of the things I really enjoy about books by Gustawsson, is the way she melds historical fact and fiction and then brings the plot into the present. It’s almost as if the stories she creates were meant to be and to be told. They feel realistic and evoke visceral reactions, despite the more gruesome elements of the stories.

There are many atrocities that took place in the 20th century – it’s fair to say that The Holocaust overshadows everything else, perhaps because of the methodical planning and execution. The author brings the atrocity that was the Francoist dictatorship in Spain to the table in this story. The methodical war of attrition cost many hundreds of thousands their lives and many fled the regime entirely. Many thousands that fled were returned to Spain be killed and also interned in Nazi concentration camps where thousands of Spaniards also died.

In this story the reader goes from the past in Spain and the repercussions of said regime on a family – to the present where the team has to deal with an extreme tragedy that involves one of their own.

I think the details are best left to readers to experience. The one thing I do want to mention is the spectacular way the author addressed the family dynamic when dealing with a child with special needs or on the spectrum. It was brutally honest. Honest in a way nobody wants to approach the topic for fear people will judge their very real emotions and opinions.

It’s historical fiction combined with fact and then topped off with an intriguing murder plot. As per usual Gustawsson proves what an incredibly gifted writer, storyteller and meticulous plotter she is, which is brought to the table in all its original glory by the translator. Kudos to Gustawsson for the incredible read.

Buy Blood Song at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher Orenda Books, Pub date: 19 September 2019 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Keeper and Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson.

#BlogTour Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

You don’t want to miss this humdinger of a book or the BlogTour for Keeper by Johana Gustawsson for that matter (Translation by Maxim Jakubowski). I can honestly say the author managed to pull the wool over my eyes and surprise me.

About the Author

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. Her debut, Block 46, was an award-winning, international bestseller, with Keeper following suit. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

Follow @JoGustawsson  @Orendabooks on Twitter or on facebook.com/johana.gustawsson/

Visit johanagustawsson.com/en/

Buy Keeper

About the book

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before. Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?

Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down…

Review

Once again this Roy and Castells story takes place in multiple countries and over different periods in time, and because the author does it with such ease it actually strengthens the plot. This case sees Emily and Alexis at opposite sides with a very upsetting difference of opinions, when they disagree about a old case that took the life of someone very important to Castells.

However that leaves more room for a new character to introduce herself into the fold. Aliénor is on the autism spectrum, which leads to some amusing situations, but she also shows herself to be an important part of the team. Her meticulous eye for detail and information helps the team advance faster than they might have without her help. Hopefully she will return again for further Roy and Castells stories, although knowing the author the girl probably has a dark murderous past and has a mass of skeletons buried in her garden. Just saying.

In Keeper there are parallels drawn between the Ripper killings and another spate of killings over a hundred years later. There is a supposition of a possible connection between the two situations. Could there be a more base connection than the hunger for some specific bloodthirsty element of the crimes.

I guessed half of the solution, but I was neither prepared for or expecting the last few pages. I can honestly say the author managed to pull the wool over my eyes and surprise me. Excellent plotting. I can just imagine the author sat there with a content and smug smile on her face thinking about the reactions of her readers. Gustawsson is honing her craft, and speeding towards the top at one hell of a speed.

I was already impressed with Block 46 (Roy & Castells #1), but Keeper is an outstanding piece of crime fiction. A crime and psychological thriller par excellence. Keeper will shock, captivate and perhaps even perplex her readers.

The uncomfortable ease with which the perpetrators fall prey to the brutality and deviant desires of such a complex psychological disorder, and the way said disorder is connected to a strange and yet strong emotional bond between them, is disturbing. Gustawsson has outdone herself. I dread to think what she will come up with next, and at the same time I can’t wait to read it.

Buy Keeper at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

Today it is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson. Believe you me, you won’t want to miss this one.

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.

Visit johanagustawsson.com/en/  Follow @JoGustawsson or @Orendabooks on Twitter or on facebook.com/johana.gustawsson/

Buy Block 46

About the book

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.

Review

It is a well thought out psychological thriller. One that will drag the readers to places they probably don’t want to go to. From one of the darkest periods in 20th century history to the cries of scared little boys.

The reader is taken from the past to the present and back again as the story progresses. This in itself isn’t unusual, but the where and the why is. Regardless of whether the story is taking place in the past, in the middle of the human quagmire of despair of the Buchenwald concentration camp or in the present searching for a vicious killer, both story-lines are equally captivating. In fact it was so intriguing that I was telling myself to read faster to get to each new chapter.

Gustawsson knows how to make your skin crawl, make you want to cry and make you livid with anger, sometimes all at the same time. She does exactly what one would expect a good storyteller to do, reel her audience in and keep them wanting for more.

Block 46 is abhorrent and it is also quite callous at times. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a psychological thriller weaving threads from a notorious concentration camp all the way to the tortured and abused body of a little innocent child.

The author spins a wicked tale of terror, pain and deception. It is an absorbing combination of history and crime, with a flair of Nordic noir and a nefarious mind behind it all.

Buy Block 46 at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.