I’ve just finished reading The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and it blew me away as much as The Shadow of the Wind did when I first read that. There’s just something in his writing that makes every line interesting, every story a page turner.
The Prisoner of Heaven, follows Fermin Romero de Torres, whose story we pick up when a man walks into Sempere & Sons, the bookshop where he works, and inscribes a priceless edition of The Count of Monte Christo with the words ‘To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future . . .’ Daniel, who is the only person in the shop when the man comes in, hands the edition to Fermin, and begins the task of wheedling the background of the mysterious words out of his reluctant friend.
Zafon gets the pacing exactly right throughout the novel and slowly the stories behind the characters are revealed; an evolution in reverse. There’s betrayal and daring escapes, adventure and danger, not to mention the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which is every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
The Prisoner of Heaven can be bought in paperback from most good retailers for around £5.99.