Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – a book review

“Marina” is another novel aimed at young readers, but appeals to readers of all ages. Once again Zafón has produced a book that has the ability to scare the pants off a fully grown adult and keep you gripped to the book as well. Marina was written in 1999, but only translated into English recently, like “The Watcher in the Shadows”.

The story is told by Oscar Drai 15 years later. This story revolves around a young Oscar whilst he was at boarding school in Barcelona in the 1980s who meets a mysterious young woman called Marina who lives in an old, crumbling mansion with her father, a portrait artists, and their ill-tempered cat with a penchant for mutilating the local wildlife.

Marina promises Oscar a mystery that leads them to an old graveyard. Here they witness the woman dressed in black who visits a gravestone engraved only with a black butterfly. What they see at the graveyard piques the curiosity of Marina and Oscar who decide to follow her, and sets in motion a series of events that will turn up some dark secrets of post-war Barcelona and lead to Oscar disappearing for 7 days.

What they discover is the macabre side of show business and wealth. They stumble into the madness of one man desperate to live forever and who will use the unclaimed citizens of Barcelona to meet his needs.

This book had me gripped from the first page to the last and proves once again the spell Zafón can weave to keep you spellbound.

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