El laberinto de los espíritus (literally, The Labyrinth of the Spirits) is the fourth book in the saga of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This saga started in 2001 with The Shadow of the Wind, followed by The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven. All three books take place in Barcelona, in the aftermath of the Civil War. If you are not familiar with them, I recommend you get your hands on a copy of The Shadow of the Wind ASAP, it’s a beautiful book written by a book lover for book lovers.
El laberinto de los espíritus is divided into several sections and the story takes place in different time periods, in both Madrid and Barcelona. We catch up with old friends and enemies, we meet new characters, and we discover a few truths regarding the series mysteries. The best part of the book is the story of Alicia, a mysterious woman with ties to Fermín, one of our old friends, who now works for the secret police. Through Alicia’s story we discover some of the horrors of Franquismo. She has to investigate the disappearance of a Very Important Person, a real SOB we met in one of the previous novels. During the course of her investigation, Alicia returns to Barcelona and ends up crossing paths (again) with Fermín and the Semperes (the antiquarian book dealers at the heart of the saga).