SPECTACLE BY JODIE LYNN ZDROK
Publication Date: 12th February 2019
Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered—from the perspective of the murderer himself.
When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.
Where do I start with this book??? I loved it so much!
The writing was fantastic and easy to fall into within the first few pages. The book immediately opens with mystery and that carries on throughout… and the atmosphere was written so well. I really felt like I was there in Paris in the late 1800s and not just reading it from Nathalie’s point of view. It also helped that the author was able to integrate so many French phrases and places without making the reader feel distanced from the setting (which unfortunately happens a lot in some books), and it made it feel so much more authentic.
All of the characters were immediately likeable, and offered different things to the story; from Nathalie’s curiosity and determination, to Agnés’ sweetness. There was just such a variety of personalities that made the story what it was. I also think that this is the first time that I’ve ever read a book and loved all of the characters – they really felt like real people to me.
There’s a mixture of magic and science in this book which was another really interesting element because it worked so well with the murder mystery of the plot. This led to so many twists and turns – SO MANY. And most of the time, I was left so surprised by it all – I literally couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. I’m still not even sure if there’s going to be a sequel, but I really hope that there will be!
I’d say that my only issue with the book was the pacing. The first half was brilliant, but towards the middle it slowed down a bit, before picking up again, and then it ended on such a high. This didn’t bother me that much whilst I was reading it, but it’s definitely more noticeable once you’ve finished the book and are trying to collect your thoughts.
I thought that this was such a fantastic debut and worth reading if you loved Stalking Jack the Ripper or enjoy murder mystery novels set in Paris!
*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own!*