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.
Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.
I was blown away by Block 46, I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to get round to it. After reading so many great reviews from fellow bloggers, I knew I was in for a treat, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s another riveting read from Orenda Books, and Johana Gustawsson is another author who I am excited to read more from.
When the body of jewellery designer Linnea Blix is discovered in Sweden, investigators believe that there may be a link between her murder and the murder of a young boy in London who was found with similar injuries. The investigators believe that these recent murders could also be linked to killings which have taken place across decades. In 1944, we meet Erich Hebner who has been imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp. How is Erich connected to the events which are happening in the present, what really happened at the camp all those years ago?
Block 46, is a powerful and emotive story that explores a devastating time period in our history, the Holocaust. I really had no idea of the direction which Johana was going to take us. The subject of the concentration camps is an area which Johana has researched impeccably well; what Johana has also done in this book is make us, the reader, realise how important it is for us to learn about what happened in these times, to ensure that this atrocity never happens again. The scenes in which Johana takes us inside the concentration camp are graphic and sometimes I had to take a break after reading them, but that is the power of her writing and what makes it so good. She’s an author who makes you care for her characters.
Johana has a great cast of characters in her book, I loved Emily Roy, and I’m hoping that she’ll soon appear in another book. Although Block 46 takes you to some very dark and disturbing places, it makes for an absolutely riveting read that I flew through. I could never be sure who the killer was, and I was certainly surprised by the ending. It is a gripping mystery but also a deeply moving story that will stay with you long after you have finished reading.
Publication date: 15th May 2017
Print length: 300 pages