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Book Review – The Labyrinth of Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

What a treasure Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s writing is. Lyrical and full of both sadness and humor. His Cemetery of Forgotten Books series leaves me wanting more with each novel. No wonder he is one of my favorite authors.

‘The Labyrinth of Spirits’ tells the story of Alicia Gris, a fem fatale from Barcelona. Her life is intertwined with the Sempere family, recurring characters from previous novels, and the indomitable and poetic Fermin with whom she shares a past. She is brought in to an investigation to find Mauricio Valls, a high ranking political official. What she finds is corruption, betrayal, and dead bodies.

Alicia Gris befriends the Sempere’s, including Danial and his wife Bea. Their story was told in ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ (easily in my top ten) and there are shades of that story all over this one. The past is forever present, especially when they take Alicia to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.

I was drawn into this book from the first paragraph. I could hardly put it down. The rich backdrop of Barcelona. The large population of well developed characters. I felt myself rooting for each one even, on occasion, the villains. That is how well Zafon writes. He draws you in and holds your attention to the last word.

‘The Labyrinth of Spirits’ gets my highest recommendation. If you haven’t read any of Zafon’s work, start with ‘Shadow of the Wind’. ‘Marina’ is also mesmerizing. So is every book in between.

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