New York Times Bestseller
"Packed with suspense. . . a gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller.” — Washington Book Review
The internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his bestselling novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven in this riveting series finale—a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense which introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco’s Spain.
In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history.
Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.
With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.
As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future.
In this haunting novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives.
Zaf n follows 2012's The Prisoner of Heaven with the conclusion to his Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet, a gripping and moving thriller set in Franco's Spain that's fully accessible to newcomers. In 1959, 29-year-old Alicia Gris, a capable, insightful operative working for the Spanish secret police in Madrid who will remind readers of Lisbeth Salander, is tapped by her superior, Leandro Montalvo, for a sensitive inquiry. Spain's Minister of Culture, Don Mauricio Valls, who's been the target of anonymous threats and was the subject of a failed assassination attempt, has disappeared. The authorities believe that Valls was pursuing a lead on his persecutor on his own. Leandro promises the emotionally worn-out Alicia that she can leave his employ after this last assignment. When Alicia investigates, she discovers that Valls hid an unusual and valuable children's book in his Madrid mansion The Labyrinth of the Spirits VII and this in turn leads her to a Barcelona prison, where Valls was in charge during WWII. Fans of complex and literate mysteries featuring detectives with integrity working under oppressive and corrupt regimes will be well satisfied.
Enjoyed this book. Kept my attention and focus. Can’t wait to continue the series.
Amazing Style and Story
This is the fourth in the series although you can also read it as a stand alone. The writing is extraordinary. As descriptive and engrossing as any book I’ve ever read. The characters and settings are incredibly well drawn, without flourish, to easily picture them in your mind, but done in a simple, straightforward style that captures your imagination and, without doubt, encourages reading the previously written books in the series.
Labyrinth of the Spirits
Simply Spectacular, brilliant writing.