Spain, 1938: 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.
Blood Song is another thrilling, powerful and emotional read from Johana Gustawsson, author of one of the best books I’ve ever read, Keeper.
Be warned, the horrors included in this book are brutal and all the more so for being based on facts. More than once it reminded me of the savagery within Block 46 and here, once again, Johana Gustawsson‘s painstaking research, attention to detail and skilful characterisations bring to life both strands of this monstrous story: Spain’s Civil War and Aliénor’s modern personal tragedy.
The story grabbed me from the first chapters – the mini subplot in London is brilliant – and I enjoyed meeting up with Alexis and particularly Emily and Aliénor again. Olofsson is always good value and Guardiola was a great new character, both serving partly to balance the dark themes with moments of humour.
The overall twists and turns literally took my breath away and if you are looking for an intelligent, complex and compelling mystery thriller then I highly recommend Blood Song. (And, if you’ve not read it, the entire series. It’s definitely best to start at the beginning – you know you want to!