The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is definitely in the horror/suspense genre, much more so that The Prince of the Mist. Having Calcutta as a setting is just perfect, as it's not a place many readers are familiar with and that difference adds to the eeriness.
One night a British Lieutenant is being chased by assassins; he manages to elude them long enough to get two orphaned babies to their grandmother's house before drawing the pursuit away and dying at their hands. Grandma takes one child and leaves him at a local orphanage... we're not sure what happened to the other child. There's definitely something wrong here, as she warns the orphanage's supervisor that this child is being hunted.
Sixteen years later, Ben is on the verge of leaving the orphanage. He and his best friends, aka the Chowbar Society, are off on a new adventure. That is, of course, until Jawahal - an evil man/spirit determined to destroy Ben and his sister - shows up. The ensuing next few days are filled with half-told tales, puzzles and true terror.
ARC provided by publisher.
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