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Blog Tour: Keeper by Johana Gustawsson Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Keeper by Johana Gustawsson and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Johana Pic.jpeg

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana
Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She
married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a
bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose
television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. Her debut,
Block 46, was an award-winning, international bestseller, with Keeper following
suit. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

About the book:

KEEPER COVER COVER AW.jpeg

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds
identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?
Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down…

Ellen’s review:

I loved Block 46 by Johanna Gustawsson so was delighted to be able to review the second book in the Emily Roy and Alexis Castells series. Johanna’s writing is outstanding and I was gripped from the first page. It is a crime thriller but the main characters are profiler Emily and true crime writer Alexis. I love this alternative way of looking at a murder case. Each have their unique angle on investigating the murders/abduction. I have to say Emily is my favourite of the two – she is blunt to the point of being rude but can then turn on exactly the right amount of charm to extract the information she requires from victims and their families.

Another of my favourite characters was Alienor Lindbergh who is a determined new addition to the Swedish police force. Alienor has Asperger Syndrome and this is portrayed fantastically. She say things as she sees them and even asks Emily if she is an “aspie” which tickled me. A great new member of the team and I hope we see a lot more from her in future books.

Keeper is not for the faint hearted but you can guess that from the blurb. Any tale that features the history of Jack the Ripper isn’t going to be a walk in the park…more a lurk down a dark alley with a bloody ending! Once again the author mixes historical facts with fiction over two timelines and it works like magic.

All the shiny stars for Keeper – félicitations Johana Gustawsson and Orenda Books!

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~Blog Tour Review~ Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

Hi everyone,

Today I’ll be reviewing Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson as part of the blog tour, with many thanks as always to Orenda Books for the opportunity.

About the author:

Johana Photo

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

About the translator:

Maxim Jakubowski is a crime, erotic, and science fiction writer and critic.

Jakubowski was born in England by Russian-British and Polish parents, but raised in France. Jakubowski has also lived in Italy and has travelled extensively. Jakubowski edited the science fiction anthology Twenty Houses of the Zodiac in 1979 for the 37th World Science Fiction Convention (Seacon ’79) in Brighton. He also contributed a short story to that anthology. He has now published almost 100 books in a variety of areas.

He has worked in book publishing for many years, which he left to open the Murder One bookshop[1], the UK’s first specialist crime and mystery bookstore. He contributes to a variety of newspapers and magazines, and was for eight years the crime columnist for Time Out and, presently, since 2000, the crime reviewer for The Guardian. He is also the literary director of London’s Crime Scene Festival and a consultant for the International Mystery Film Festival, Noir in Fest, held annually in Courmayeur, Italy. He is one the leading editors in the crime and mystery and erotica field, in which he has published many major anthologies.

About the book:

BLOCK 46 COVER AW.indd

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 true-crime 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.

Buy the book:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

My thoughts:

I genuinely don’t know how to describe Block 46 without giving anything away. It is an absolutely stellar addition to the Orenda Books catalogue. Gripping, haunting and so completely evocative, it is a superb read.

Following the discovery of Linnea Blix, who was found mutilated and murdered, a body of a young boy is also found in London. The reader is then taken on a journey along with those tasked with finding out the truth. This investigation takes place over many locations, with many different characters taking part, and all of these different threads are woven together brilliantly by the author. 

This is the second book I’ve read recently to have been set in Buchenwald. These parts are not easy to read. The author has done a great job of writing sensitively around an extremely harrowing subject though. Capturing the atmosphere can’t be easy, but I felt the most emotion while reading the chapters set there.

Block 46 is a murder/mystery in theory. But it is honestly so much more. It delves deep into people’s character, how they behave and react in certain situations and this is expertly written by the author. It’s not often I find myself struggling to find the words for a review. But I am with this one. Block 46 is brutal, honest and emotionally harrowing but it’s so worth reading! 

Highly recommended!

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FINAL block 46 blog tour poster.jpg