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Blood Crime    by Sebastia Alzamora order for
Blood Crime
by Sebastia Alzamora
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Narrated by a vampire, you'll find this novel is literally dripping in blood. Inspired by a massacre of clergymen which occurred in Barcelona during the early days of the Spanish Civil War, Blood Crime underscores the depraved monsters who can emerge and assume power during the chaos that accompanies social and political upheavals.

A group of Marist brothers, a group of Capuchin sisters who allow the local bishop to hide out in their convent, a sadistic revolutionary who is related to the nuns' mother superior, and a well meaning police official are all tossed together in this story that is unsettling as it shows the extreme violence that turns the streets of war ravaged Barcelona into gruesome charnel houses.

As one character observes, the war was 'a colossal macabre joke'. It had transformed the city with 'brothers sacrificing brothers, parents informing on children, and children killing parents or having them killed; merchants of misery and whoremasters of death, gossipmongers on crime and peddlers of depravation'.

Not only does this book present a very unflattering picture of the Spanish Republicans but it also attempts to insert vampire legends into a rather unlikely setting. Perhaps the idea here is to show the nature of monsters in all their forms.

Although this novel will be an unsettling read for some individuals who elect to pursue it, others will find it rather hypnotic because there is a certain method to the madness that hammers home the message the author is trying to make.

The fact that Blood Crime received the Sant Jordi Prize for Catalan Literature would suggest this unforgettable novel has far more depth than might be recognizable at first glance.

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