BLOCK 46 | Johana Gustawsson
(Emily Roy & Alexis Castells #1)
02.05.2017 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars
Alexis Castells is a true-crime writer living in London. The body of her close friend, Linnea, has been found mutilated and dumped in a snowy marina in Sweden. The markings and wounds on the body closely resemble those of a child who was found dead in London. As the body of another boy is found, the police begin to wonder if they have a serial killer on their hands. Clues and evidence linking a killer to either crime are sparse and police are struggling to understand a motive and connection. Emily Roy, a profiler from the Scotland Yard, has been called in to assist with the cases and try to determine if they are related and who might be behind the deaths.
Erich Ebner was sentenced to a life in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in 1944. He was a German man fighting against the Nazis. His story is woven throughout the search for Linnea and the boy’s killer, as the past plays a vital part in learning the answers to this case. Emily and Alexis find themselves looking in the face of a terrifying connection between the horrors that happened at this concentration camp and the bodies being found in London and Sweden. Can Emily and Alexis find the connection before it is too late?
He picks up the spade, gathers earth and spreads it out in the hole. A single shovelful and the legs are already covered; all that sticks out are the toes. Toes as smooth as pebbles, as cold as ice, that make him want to touch them with the tips of his fingers.
Johana Gustawsson has created an intense, mesmerizing, and addictive read with BLOCK 46! Within the first few pages I knew I was in for something special. There are so many important details to this case that must be revealed while reading, that I’m going keep my review as vague as possible.
The narrative of BLOCK 46 alternates seamlessly between the current case, Erich Ebner’s life, and the mind of the killer. As Emily and Alexis progress in the case, so too does the story of Ebner, until the two timelines meet in present day for the ultimate revelation of how they are connected. Gustawsson keeps tensions and suspicions high throughout the narrative of the present case, as the reader works alongside Emily and Alexis to find the truth. Equally tense is the emotional and horrifying trip to Buchenwald Nazi Concentration Camp where we are exposed Ebner’s journey and the meaning behind the title of this book. In addition to these two brilliant narratives, Gustawsson slips in glimpses of the killer’s mind. These storylines are expertly woven together in a methodical way to keep the reader guessing at the true connection between them.
All of a sudden, fear and pain surged through her stomach, crushing her lungs, her throat becoming unbearably dry. Yet again, death had come visiting.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that BLOCK 46 is your run of the mill serial killer thriller because Gustawsson has brilliance hidden in her sleeve. Throughout most of the novel I was confident my detective skills were impeccable and I knew where things were headed. Wrong. There’s this moment where Gustawsson just flips the script in an epic twist that left my jaw on the floor! In addition to that there were so many more layers to the characters of this novel that I didn’t see coming and each revelation hit me hard. I’m over the moon that this is a series and that book #2, KEEPER, is already sitting on my shelf waiting for me. Johana Gustawsson is an author you need to know! Don’t do what I did and sit around forever waiting to read this one. Go pick it up now!