The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Somewhere on the path of life, when adulthood looms large and we end up seeing the horizons of the impending twilight more frequently than we would wish to, there are stops of childhood sped past that we reminisce the most – they make for some of our best memories, and subconsciously, our best lessons.

Irene and Ismael cast a similar warm, gratifying glance to a decade back in Zafon’s magical and twisted world in this book, where the two teenagers accidentally met, and fought, one of their toughest enemies who neither had a face nor a structure. In the rain-washed coast of Normandy, their lives registered a chapter where friendship, love, family, belief, courage and loss were all put to test, amid gorgeous creations and ghastly revelations, and prepared them for the bigger battles ahead.

The story borders on a thriller that kisses the beauty of language every now and then, and appears a tad less menacing, only to rise again in its intimidating but transfixing dance. The reveals towards the final pages turned little weak for me and I felt my boat leaving the coast a tad too soon. But for the love of pace and magical realism, and the inimitable allure of Zafon’s lyrical canvas, a visit to Blue Bay wasn’t regretted at all.

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