Thursday, 1 June 2017

Block 46 by @JohanaGustawsson - French Noir Thriller - @OrendaBooks #Block46

I am pleased to be able to be a part of this blog tour for the amazing book Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson. 

TITLE - Block 46

AUTHOR - Johana Gustawsson

TRANSLATOR - Maxim Jakubowski

PUBLISHER - Orenda Books

PUBLICATION DATE - 15th May 2017


Evil Remembers
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. 

WINNER: Nouvelle Plume D’Argent 2016
For fans of The Missing, Dominique Manotti, Camilla Lackberg, Stieg Larsson

Award winning debut French Noir Thriller, first in the Roy & Castells series. A true-crime writer and a profiler join forces in the hunt for a serial Killer.

** Warning. this novel contains some graphic scenes & descriptions **

Wow! Talk about a book with a hard hitting Impact.! This book is a time slip crime novel. Set in two time periods; three countries including one concentration camp. 
One time period was set in WWII in Buchenwald Concentration camp in Germany in 1944, and one set in London and Sweden in 2013/2014. 

It starts in 2013, with someone buried in a hole. Is it an adult? Is it a child? Are they even dead? You can't initially tell.

I like the strong female characters in this book. There's Alexis a 30 something true crime author; Emily a profiler for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Linnea, a Jewellery designer for Cartier and Alba who is also involved with Cartier.

There was nothing in this book that was "lost in translation". The Swedish Police Procedures and criminal terms were very easy to understand. The Characters of the Swedish Police were very well constructed. One of them Kristian Olofsson, came across as very patronising. He didn't seem to like Women much, and to me was quite a vile character; a male chauvinist.

The Chapters set in Buchenwald Concentration camp were well written and quite graphic. They were obviously superbly researched. I actually find events relating to these internment camps upsetting so some parts were hard for me to read. It is extremely hard to comprehend that one man can commit such atrocities against another fellow man. Yes the book is very graphic and violent in places, but this was not needless and absolutely vital to the story. Obviously the Buchenwald scenes were indicative of what actually happened. 

The story centres around Erich Ebner, a 20 something German Political Prisoner, who'd initially been put to work in the "ovens"........... Back in the 21st century there are some children going missing. Again some scenes are graphic however it does lend itself to the story-line. 

Initially it's hard to see how murders in modern day London & Sweden, could possibly link back to a German Concentration Camp, after all the main protagonist would be too old & past it surely to be involved in murders in 2013 wouldn't they? The links are done seamlessly due to how well the book is written.

Watch out for the big twist! Although I initially found this book a bit slow in parts whilst the plot "bedded in",  it was a very good read and I really enjoyed it. The time slips linked in really well and there are some great characters in this book. I look forward to reading more in the Roy & Castells series. This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. 

Thank you to Anne Cater at "Random Things through my letterbox" and Orenda Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.


Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawwson 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. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.