Jameson Fink's Reviews > The Labyrinth of the Spirits

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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really liked it

Engrossing mystery/thriller taking place for the most part in Franco's Spain. The plot surrounds the disappearance of a high-ranking member of the government and the (extremely) tangled web involving a multitude of people.

Our hero is Alicia, a sort of less mobile, pre-internet Lisbeth Salander. She works for a shadowy government investigative team and is teamed up with a more by-the-book, veteran cop to get to the bottom of this mystery. (Sounds like a cliché, but it doesn't play out that way.)

I devoured this book. Alicia is a fascinating character and her relationship with Vargas is a good one. The whole plot is like an onion, with layers continually peeled back as it heads to the climax. There's fascinating detail about Barcelona and the machinations of the fascist state.

I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but thought it went on for too long. There was a "natural" ending but a coda ("Julián's Book") continuing the story around the son of one of the main characters was superfluous. I also found one of the characters who functioned (at least after the early parts of the book) as comic relief was a too-broad, corny caricature. I found myself more and more annoyed at his "clever witticisms."

Finally, for context, when I bought this book I had no idea it was the final entry in a series of four novels. (Whoops!) You can read it as a stand-alone. I will admit to sometimes getting confused about how all the characters were connected, and flipping back and forth in the book. (This would be a good one to read on a Kindle where you could search for names, etc.) Though I'm not sure reading the prior books would have made me sharper on the family trees and connections.
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Reading Progress

August 29, 2019 – Started Reading
August 29, 2019 – Shelved
August 31, 2019 –
page 202
25.09%
September 1, 2019 –
page 396
49.19%
September 1, 2019 –
page 396
49.19%
September 1, 2019 –
page 396
49.19%
September 1, 2019 –
page 36
4.47%
September 1, 2019 –
page 396
49.19%
September 2, 2019 –
page 456
56.65%
September 2, 2019 –
page 456
56.65%
September 2, 2019 –
page 0
0.0%
September 2, 2019 –
page 5
0.62%
September 2, 2019 –
page 456
56.65%
September 2, 2019 –
page 490
60.87%
September 3, 2019 –
page 646
80.25%
September 4, 2019 – Finished Reading

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