Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

I’d like to thank Orenda books for the opportunity to read a copy of Block 46 and for giving me the chance to take part in a blog tour for this book.

the book is about:

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 truecrime 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.

My thoughts:

This novel takes 2 very emotive subjects and handles them sensitively and well, their is discussion of concentration camps and their treatment of their internees and discussion of crimes against children. Both of these subjects can provoke very strong feelings in people especially if handled in an insensitive fashion even in fiction, the author is brave to take both of these on and to use them to the effect that she does in the novel whilst never crossing a line into bad taste.

I enjoyed reading Block 46 it never played out how I expected it to, which is really refreshing when you read as many crime novels as I do. I was continually surprised by the plot twists. I enjoyed how the characters developed and would be intrigued to read more in the series. Parts of the book are set in Sweden an area of the world I love and this setting was really bought to life by the author.

The characters in the novel were all really well developed and the insights into the antagonists minds were particularly disturbing and really helped build the tension in the story. My only criticism of the novel if it is one is that the 2 main protagonists have a big change in relationship at the end of the novel which isn’t particularly well explained so I was left wondering how  that development had happened. I’m sure if I go onto read more in the series this would be explained though and it didn’t detract from the book for me.

The novel has a slow start and seems to move through the story at a relatively gentle pace for the sheer terribleness of the crimes that occur, although this to me is what I’ve come to expect from novels set in Scandanavia, although the author is French. I felt that the pace of the novel was fine and was really in keeping with the story.

This is a new author for me and one I would definitely read again a 5* read for me.

FINAL block 46 blog tour poster.jpg


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