cover image Blood Song: A Roy & Castells Thriller

Blood Song: A Roy & Castells Thriller

Johana Gustawsson, trans. from the French by David Warriner. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-912374-81-6

The prologue of Gustawsson’s disappointing third crime thriller featuring profiler Emily Roy and true crime author Alexis Castells (after 2018’s Keeper) suggests that the atrocities of Franco’s Spain will be a prime plot element, as does a scene set in 1937 Spain, but these prove incidental. Instead, the focus is on the stabbing murders of three members of the wealthy Lindbergh family in Falkenberg, Sweden, in 2016. When Aliénor Lindbergh, who’s interning with the Metropolitan Police in London, learns of the deaths of her parents and sister, she returns home to Sweden, accompanied by her friend Emily, who was teaching her criminal profiling. There Alexis joins Emily in investigating the killings. The search for answers leads the pair to look for a connection to a fertility clinic operated by Aliénor’s parents that boasted an improbable success rate. Readers should be prepared for stock characters and predictable plot twists, as well as distracting flashbacks that promise more than they deliver. Crime fiction fans can safely pass on this one. Agent: Yolande Rochet de la Valee, Bragelonne (France). (Mar.)