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Publisher's Summary

The internationally acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his best-selling novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven in this riveting series finale - a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense that introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco’s Spain.

In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history.

Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the 29-year-old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.

With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue - a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several book sellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.

As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future.

In this haunting new novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives. 

©2016 Carlos Ruiz Zafón; Translation copyright 2017 Lucia Graves (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

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The end of an epic novel

I first read La Sombre del Viento in 2007 while studying in Spain. Despite some of what was lost due to a language barrier, I was captivated by the picture Zafón painted of the gothic Barcelona of the past. I have since re-read The Shadow of the Wind a couple of times and more recently completed The Prisoner of Heaven and The Labyrinth of Spirits. I find it impossible to say which is my “favorite” because in the end, they are one novel. Each novel ties together so perfectly it’s own piece of the story and this final chapter leaves nothing to be desired. This is a masterpiece that I have spent over a decade consuming and I can only hope Zafón treats us to a new adventure in the future

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Zafon can spin a masterful tale!

This offering from Zafon brilliantly tied together all of the works in the series in a way that left me completely satisfied and with the perfect sense of closure. While I can imagine a follow-up focusing on a central character, I would be ok to formulate her path to happiness in my mind. 28 hours incredibly well spent as the narrator did a masterful job with the characters...bravo!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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GREAT READ!!!!


Loved the book!! The Author is one of my favorites! The narrator is perfect!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful