Review of The Son – Jo Nesbo

Posted: May 2, 2014 in mystery, Review
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the son

Jo Nesbo is such a successful author that his books are now promptly translated to English to ensure an almost simultaneous release with his native Norwegian. His latest work, The Son, is not a Harry Hole novel but it is another police detective, killer manhunt story and well worth the read.

Sonny Lofthus is fighting the demons caused by the inexplicable suicide 14 years ago of his policeman father. However, Sonny is also a heroin addict and model prisoner doing time for the murder of two people he didn’t kill. In return for confessing to these two crimes his “sponsors” supply him with heroin. Sonny is about to confess to another murder, committed when he was on day release, when someone lets slip that they may know who killed his father. This information gives Sonny the impetus to escape and seek revenge on his father’s killer; and do a little extra-judicial killing of his own.

Not only is Sonny being sought by the police, but he is also being sought by the criminals who convinced him to confess to the murders 14 years ago (and the one he is alleged to have committed now). Sonny is searching for the people behind these criminals, one of whom is a policeman. Not a good market to sell life insurance as the body count begins to climb.

I really enjoyed this book. Sonny burnt with righteous indignation – an indignation that kept him one step ahead of the next needle he so desperately wanted. The police investigators were both flawed and insightful and hampered by Sonny’s ability to be unpredictable. And the criminals were a couple of steps up from thuggish and stupid – and lead by a brain of the first order. Such was the quality of the story that in the epilogue Mr Nesbo left himself room for a return to these characters: well some of them at least.

This is a book to add to the immediate reading pile.

Harvill Secker

Supplied by Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Simon

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