Yesterday I finished The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. It is longish (487 pages) but I loved every minute of reading this book and it was a fast read. The story takes place in Barcelona spanning the years of the Spanish Civil War up to the 1960s. As a young boy, Daniel, son of a bookseller, is mourning the loss of his mother. His father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is allowed to choose one book. His choice is The Shadow of the Wind, by Julian Carax. Daniel reads all night, is entranced and begins to search for other books by this author.
So I am immediately entranced because it is a book book and that is exactly what I do when I read a book that I love. I look for more by that author. But Daniel's search opens up a mystery which becomes an epic of murder, madness and hopeless love. The successful mixture of genres is only one of the wonders of Zafron's writing. He also now and then drops in philosophical, political or humorous bits that are clearly his views, but done with such a deft touch that you hardly notice. The characters are excellent, the mystery is gripping and the descriptions of Barcelona are truly stunning.
Then he pulls off a great ending. I want more books by this author.