by Mary Stewart
This one starts out without as much description as previous Mary Stewart books I've read, but by the end of the first chapter exactly what Rose Cottage is has been explained. Much of the first half of the book feels like ordinary things going on, but a mystery presents itself when a hidden cupboard in Rose Cottage is discovered to have been uncovered.
The time period is after the war in the UK when rationing was still in force. A lot of Stewart's use of language fits into the era and creates that dreamy sort of old movie atmosphere.
Mary Stewart has an engaging style and despite waiting for a long time for anything really significant to happen, the story kept my attention. It isn't what you would call high action and it skirts the Women's Fiction category, but a mystery gets solved in the end and there is that touch of romance that Stewart's Mysteries always have.
The final chapter in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series follows secret police investigator Alicia Gris, scarred body and soul, as she takes one final case, and finds herself following a deadly trail which begins with a rare book that leads her back into the shadows of Barcelona's dark past, to the horrors of Franco's fascist regime....and even greater evils that some will commit any act to keep hidden.
A brilliant literary thriller that captures a pitch perfect sense of time and place, along with a near Gothic atmosphere that wafts from the pages like fog and the scent of old books, while the tension ratchets up to garotte tautness.
I was drawn in by the first paragraph, and didn't come up for air until I reached the last page.
Highly recommended finale to a highly recommended series.
Thanks to HarperCollins for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.