I don't know why I keep wanting to try Carlos Ruiz Zafón's work again: I wasn't that impressed by The Shadow of the Wind, if I remember rightly. But I suppose I saw some potential there, and I definitely see it here, in the first book he published. It's aimed at a younger audience, and has a lot less pretension. It is a fairly simplistic story, even quite predictable, but it kept me turning the pages.
The translation is a reasonable one, though there does seem to be something lost in translation about the exact location of what's going on in this book. I couldn't quite place it: it seemed like an odd mixture between hyper-English Secret Seven or Famous Five, with the children being left in the house alone and diving on a wreck and so on... but there's a continental feel to it, as well. That's not so important, really, though: there's atmosphere a-plenty, just no concrete setting.
It isn't the best ghost/supernatural story I've ever read, and there are plot holes and questions remaining, but I did like it, and I liked the way it ended. It felt appropriate.
If you're as dubious about Carlos Ruiz Zafón as I am, you're not going to change your mind based on this book, but you still might have some fun.