By Jo Nesbo
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780385351379, 416pp.)
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
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The author of the best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set inside Oslo’s maze of especially venal, high-level corruption.
Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit—or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes.
Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him high and in jail. And all of them under the thumb of the Twin, Oslo’s crime overlord. As long as Sonny gets his dope, he’s happy to play the criminal and the prison’s in-house savior.
But when he learns a stunning, long-hidden secret concerning his father, he makes a brilliantly executed escape from prison—and from the person he’d let himself become—and begins hunting down those responsible for the crimes against him . . . The darkly looming question is: Who will get to him first—the criminals or the cops?
JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard, and Phantom, and he is also the author of several stand-alone novels and the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel.
“A deftly plotted novel that probes the deepest mysteries: sin, redemption, love, evil, the human condition. . . . One of Nesbø’s best, deepest and richest novels.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Excellent . . . Nesbø takes the reader on a chilling ride with many unexpected twists.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The standard bearer for the phenomenon that is Scandinavian crime fiction. . . . Fast-paced and imaginatively violent, this latest example of Nesbo’s Nordic noir hurtles like an express train towards a last act of almost operatic extravagance that leaves dead bodies and carefully nurtured reputations littering the stage. Great stuff altogether.”
“[Nesbø is] one of the current leading lights in Scandinavian crime fiction . . . Ridiculously talented . . . with his clear gift for hairpin twists and turns. . . . The thriller is so tightly plotted that it will keep readers steadfastly glued to their seat. . . . What Nesbø has crafted is not a whodunit in the traditional sense, as the writer is interested in the far more fascinating question of what can drive a person to evil?”
—Daily Style (Australia)
“Nesbø’s new book makes all the hype before publication seem like false modesty, and is quite simply a fantastic piece of crime literature. . . . First and foremost, this is a clever, enthralling and driven story that is impossible to put down.”
—Dagens Næringsliv (Norway)
“Yet another powerful demonstration of Nesbø’s talent for creating a story that plays on all nerve strands and with so much intensity that it embodies both the Bible and Batman at once. It is really well done. It is still early in the year, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone should dub The Son as the crime novel of the year.”
—Ekstra Bladet (Denmark)
“The pace proves to be on top in the new book, in a positive sense. This remains Norwegian crime literature in a class by itself. A plot that stretches and spreads out like great mathematical formulas, with many unfamiliar characters in the equation, but without being arcane or excessive in his fantastic interpretations. . . . Jo Nesbø prevails once again.”
“The Son is a modern take on the story about Christ, that tackles the corruption in Oslo. . . . Jo Nesbø’s writing is incredible as usual.”
“Tremendously well written by Nesbø. . . . There is something unstoppably vital about Jo Nesbø as a designer of crime stories in the baroque style. His pen is on fire and although it may be noted that it goes too fast sometimes linguistically, the stories he creates has so many staggering twists and turns that it is almost physically impossible not to get hooked.”
“Crime novels are rarely so skillfully told and at the same time so much more than pure entertainment. But Nesbø is a master.”
“No Norwegian crime writer can create such complex crime plots without losing in detail like Nesbø can. You might say that Nesbø is both high and low in his texts, and that is one of the main reasons why his novels rise above most others in this genre.”
“It is a formidable, diabolically clever and devilishly good book that is well put together, down to the smallest detail.”
—Nordjyske Stiftstidene (Denmark)
“The story . . . is propelled with great force and an unerring sense of detail. . . . It is simply thrilling to read.”
“Fast-paced and rip-roaring suspenseful.”
“No one at our latitudes knows the game like Nesbø does. No one is even close to his craftsmanship in writing crime novels that hold such international standard.”
“A high level of suspense all the way and limitless brutality. The bad guys get what they deserves and Nesbø’s writing is almost more cynical and concrete than usual. There are also a few love stories along the way, that—almost—end happily.”
—Lolland-Falsters Folketidende (Denmark)