'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.