Review: Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson

Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson
Translated by David Warriner

Publication Date: September 19, 2019
ORenda Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

The third book in the award-winning, critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, featuring true-crime writer Alexis Castells and profiler Emily Roy. Previous titles in the series, Block 46 and Keeper, have won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards and sold in 19 countries. A French, Swedish and English TV series is in production, adapted by and starring award-winning French actress Alexandra Lamy.

Spain, 1938 The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Teresa witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Teresa gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016 A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

‘Gustawsson’s writing is so vivid, it’s electrifying. Utterly compelling’ Peter James



Blood Song by Johana Gustawsson is a brilliant, unrelenting thriller that will sink its hooks into you and not let go! I have no idea how I can possibly do justice in my review to how amazing this read was.

This is the third book in Gustawsson's Roy and Castells series, and while I haven't read the first two books I didn't feel lost at all. I will be purchasing the first two books in the series soon because I am so in love with the way this author writes.

There are two timelines in the story and I was unsure of how they would connect, but it was masterfully done. One was definitely more emotional than the other. There are some pretty heartwrenching scenes when the story flips back to the time during Franco's regime in Spain, with Gordi's story, that are hard to read so be sure to have tissues handy. I haven't read much about this time in history so it was all new to me and absolutely horrifying.

The current timeline was equally fascinating with Alexis, Emily, and Aliénor trying to solve a series of vicious murders. The author knows just how to keep the suspense going and the reader intrigued!

I can't even begin to express how much I loved this book. I was furiously turning the pages to see how it would play out and glared at anyone that dared attempt to speak with me while reading. It's the kind of book that you think about all day until it's reading time, and when it's finally time to sit down and get back into it, your heart beats a little faster. I love that feeling!

Blood Song is perfect for fans of fast-paced thrillers and historicals. I highly recommend it and can't wait to pick up the other books in the series.

Thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for the opportunity to read this book!

About the Author

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte, Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in nineteen countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. Johana lives in London with her Swedish husband and their three sons. She drew on her own experience of fertility clinics and IVF to write Blood Song and is happy to speak and write pieces about this.


  1. This sounds like an absolute necessity for thriller fans. Thanks for the review.

    1. It really is, Mystica! Thanks for checking out my review!

  2. Thanks so much for supporting the blog tour Amy x

    1. It was my pleasure, Anne! Thank you for allowing me to participate. I LOVED this book!


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