One extraordinary mystery…
1899, Belle Époque Paris. Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead when her mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.
1949, Post-War Québec. Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.
2002, Quebec. A former schoolteacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation.
Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism … and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones they love…
The Bleeding is the first novel I have read by Johana Gustawsson, and after reading it, it won’t be my last!
Firstly a word about the actual hardback published by Orenda Books, it is a divine little beauty, the size of a paperback but in hardback form, with a glorious cover (Those who know me well, know I LOVE cover art) and beautiful sprayed edges…it almost had the feel of an old fashioned book, and it works SO well with the story! Such a keeper!
Now the novel is set in 3 time zones and we hear from 3 women who each tell us their story, at first I was unsure about this and how it would work but let me tell you it is absolutely sublime the way Johana Gustawsson has managed to weave the timezones and characters together. And the feel of this book is gothic, its gritty, and so vivid, there’s so much to the storyline but as you know I never give away spoilers (it’s SO hard with The Bleeding as I want to shout from the rooftops about it!) but if you like a bit of history, maybe some magic and witchcraft mixed with a modern murder and Police Investigation, then this is the book for you.
The Bleeding is an absolute little gem of a book, I couldnt put it down and it really got into my head. I loved the way it was written with such aplomb by Johana Gustawsson, in fact ive gone straight to order her previous books! A final word to the translation by David Warriner, who has again managed to make it read like it was written in English, trust me there is nothing lost in translation here! And the ending was utterly shocking and i had not guessed it would end like that at all!!!
So I am giving The Bleeding a rapturous 5 stars (if I could give it more I would), a bloody wonderful book! You must read it!!!
Johana Gustawsson has her own WEBSITE
You can buy The Bleeding HERE