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The Watcher in the Shadows [Hardcover]

Carlos Ruiz Zafon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 12.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

9 May 2013

A mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion, surrounded by the magical beings he has created...

A sickly wife locked away in a hidden room...

An enigma involving strange lights that shine out from the small island on which an old, disused lighthouse stands...

A shadowy creature that hides deep in the woods...

These are the elements of a mystery will bind 14-year-old Irene to Ismael during one magical summer spent in Blue Bay when her mother takes a job as a housekeeper for the enigmatic toymaker, Lazarus Jann.

A novel of mystery, intrigue and romance from the author of THE PRINCE OF MIST and THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.

Frequently Bought Together

The Watcher in the Shadows + Marina + The Midnight Palace
Price For All Three: 28.02

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  • Marina 12.08
  • The Midnight Palace 3.86

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfield & Nicolson; 1st edition (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029785626X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297856269
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, the first two books in a series of novels set in literary universe of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honored with numerous international awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

Product Description


A pleasingly old-fashioned thriller...A mystery filled with creepy automata and deadly secrets. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

An atmospheric, eerie and bewitching tale of what's lurking in the summer sun of northern France in 1937. (WANDERLUST)

Book Description

A magical read from the author of THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. An idyllic summer turns into a nightmare when a young girl discovers the secrets locked inside a toymaker's crumbling mansion.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another scary and mysterious adventure 9 May 2013
'The Watcher in the Shadows' is the 3rd of Zafon's YA novels to be translated and like 'The Prince of Mist' and 'The Midnight Palace' it is scary. Following the death of their father Irene and Dorian move with their mother to the Normandy coast and that is where the adventure begins. Their mother, Simone, has a job as housekeeper for the reclusive Lazurus Jann, who used to be a toy maker making wonderful automatons that almost appear to be alive. The story has a very Gothic feel, as fans of Zafon would expect, and just like his adult novels the narrative is compelling and atmospheric. Shadows and the thought of something lurking in them can very frightening, and Zafon plays on this theme to great effect with the inclusion of the idea of the doppelganger.

The story is full of adventure and mystery with plenty of twists, it is difficult to know what to make of Lazarus, is he good, evil, mad or just sad? This may be classed as YA but it is perfect for adults, particularly fans of the 'Cemetery of Forgotten Books' cycle. Once again Zafon has created a great story and told it very well, it is the kind of quality fiction that I would have loved as a child but am still able to love as an adult.

The good news is that his 4th YA novel 'Marina' is due to be published in October, the bad news is that will be the last Zafon until the final installment of 'The Cemetery of Forgotten Books', still I can always read them all again in the meantime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for younger readers 20 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wish I'd known before I purchased this book that it was written for younger readers - a fact which was not well-advertised by its publishers.

For those of us expecting a story of the same calibre as 'Shadow of the Wind' and 'The Angels Game' this is a waste of money. I've given it a 3-star rating as it would probably be much enjoyed by 11 - 14 year olds, but as I left that age group many moons ago, it was a huge disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CARLOS RUIZ ZAFRON 1 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great writer, whether for adults or teenagers. Could not put down the Shadow of the Wind and also the Angels Game. Read most of his books and all of them have been enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for teens and adults alike 8 Aug 2013
By Esox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An enthralling and enjoyable read from Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I had the good fortune to read the novel on the northern Spanish coast which enhanced the read somewhat. I would enthusiastically recommend this book as a holiday read.

A good book for adults and teens alike. I have recommended the book to my 10 year old old son as a part of his summer holiday reading list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 19 Jun 2013
By jac
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book in to evenings ,couldn't put it down.loved it.have read all his books now,shadow of the wind is my favourite book ever,read and you will be hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carlos always writes a good book - I loved it! 18 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love his imagination and always get carried away in the story. Once you pick it up you can't put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master returns. 17 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although quite obviously from the outset written for young adults, The Watcher in the Shadows once again why Carlos Ruiz Zafon is a master of modern story telling. His wonderfully conceived plot, character and undeniable flair for writing combine to create a work that possesses that most desired status of literature: it is unputdownable. It is no wonder that revered writers and respected publications alike doff their caps to Ruiz Zafon's literary prowess.

Whilst the plot twists are less subtle than those found in The Shadow of the Wind, the journey through the novel is as immersive and addictive as any of his other works.

To conclude, Ruiz Zafon is without any shadow of a doubt (or the wind), a master of the Gothic novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Carlos Ruiz Zafon 15 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Such a good story teller- always holding you in anticipation - so atmospheric. You feel you know the characters.
My only criticism is that it just isn't long enough.
Looking forward to his new book in September.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the kind
Really good story easy to read for lonely evenings ....u are floating in dark side of imagination where shadow are watching you.
Published 2 months ago by Michael
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This one isn't a patch on the others. Gone are the sumptuous passages of delicious prose. Instead you have terrible, lazy writing such as, "the smell of various chemicals... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Reader 2267
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best
I've loved all of Carlos 's books but this one was an ok read but nothing special,.will still buy any others he brings out though.
Published 4 months ago by louise barnes
3.0 out of 5 stars The watcher in the shadows
A short novel revealing the darker side of the spirit world. Everything costs and sometimes the cost far exceeds the value. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Peter F Killeen
5.0 out of 5 stars As always with the Zafon - loved it
So easy and pleasant to read. Lovely story with great ending. If you never read anything by Zafon you should give it a go :)
Published 5 months ago by Delicjaaa
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book by my favourite author
the content of the story is very good, I like the words of the author describing everything, anybody who likes a story with just a hint of mystery should be very happy to read... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tiiu
3.0 out of 5 stars The Watcher in the Shadows
I have loved all the booked I have read by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, but this one is so different, found it a bit creepy in places.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. L. C. Davison
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and mysterious story telling.
There has to be a logical answer? I suppose there is but there surprises and twists on your journey of mystery, lies and truth. Read more
Published 8 months ago by guseppi
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best read
This book was a described in the Amazon book section, but I did not enjoy reading it, not to my taste
Published 8 months ago by zoe frais
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Fantastic gripping book, I read it in 3 days!
Engaging story and characters and well written too.
A must for a good read.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. Suzanne C. Chambers
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