The Labyrinth of the Secrets
The Labyrinth of the Secrets is Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s final installment in “the universe of the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books.” But if that means nothing to you, no fear — each of the four books (Shadow of the Wind being the first in the series) can be read without the others.
Set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, then under Franco’s regime, The Labyrinth of the Secrets follows Alicia, an investigator for the secret police with a mysterious past. During the bombing of Barcelona in 1938, Alicia’s parents were killed. At age 9, she became an orphan — and we don’t see her again until 20 year later, when, weary and cynical, she’s ready to retire from her job. But she’s told she has to complete one lass mission: find Mauricio Valls, Spain’s minister of culture, who disappeared mysteriously.
Sounds like a straight-up mystery and thriller novel, right? Wrong!!!
The magic of Zafón is that what seems to be a mystery novel — what happened to Valls? — turns into a part love letter to books, storytelling, and a historical novel on the brutalities and evil of the Franco regime. As Publisher’s Weekly puts it, “Fans of complex and literate mysteries featuring detectives with integrity working under oppressive and corrupt regimes will be well satisfied.” (Which is such a specific fan — but I fall right into that description!)
Clocking in at just over 800 pages, this is no quick read, but you will get sucked into his writing (translated by Lucia Graves) and you won’t want to put it down.
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2CAS9U1