Teaser Tuesday: The Labyrinth of the Spirits

Like the arrival of cold weather after an unseasonably warm early winter, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Last week was so busy I didn’t get to finish Presidents of War in time for a new Teaser. However, I finished it a few days ago and started reading a new book, The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This is his fourth and final installment of the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series, which can be read in any order. I loved the first three and am immensely enjoying this novel, too.

The Goodreads Blurb:

The internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his bestselling 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 which 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 investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-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 booksellers, 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 Books, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives.


The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 9:

He unbuttoned his raincoat, a vast emporium of wonders that doubled as a mobile herbalist's shop, museum of odds and ends, and carrier bag of curiosities and relics picked up from a thousand flea markets and third-rate auctions.


Review: Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss

If asked to summarize “Presidents of War” in one sentence, I’d say “American presidents have found it expedient to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”

Inch by inch, Congress has allowed the executive branch to assume powers that the Founders could not fathom. Beschloss describes for us that game of inches.

I was also struck by how, from Washington to FDR, our presidents were in some way related and/or connected to each other. I suppose that’s only natural, given the nature of politics.


What are you reading today?

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