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The Son: A novel [Kindle Edition]

Jo Nesbo
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,035 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.96 (37%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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?

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* On the surface, Nesbø’s gripping new stand-alone might seem like another installment of the Harry Hole series but featuring a new cast of characters. A serial killer is at work in Oslo, and a maverick cop with his share of personal demons is on his trail. But beneath that surface, there is a complex psychological thriller churning its way into the reader’s nightmares. Sonny Lofthus is in prison for crimes he didn’t commit but for which he has agreed to take the fall—in exchange for an unending supply of heroin. The drugs are Sonny’s way of dealing with the knowledge that his father, an apparent suicide, was a dirty cop. As the novel begins, however, Sonny has new information about his father’s death and has engineered a daring escape from prison. His revenge-fueled plan is to kill those responsible for the crimes he was convicted of by re-creating the murders with the real killers now the victims. The more we learn about Sonny, the more we root for him to evade capture, either by the police or by the crime lord who wants him dead. Juggling point of view between Sonny, Simon Kefas (the cop chasing him), and the various corrupt officials who risk exposure the longer Sonny is free, Nesbø thwarts our every attempt to draw conclusions about both what happened in the past and who is the least guilty among the principals. There is an element of the classic film noir Breathless at work here but with more characters of varying shades of gray whose fates hinge on numerous moving parts. A terrific thriller but also a tragic, very moving story of intertwined characters swerving desperately to avoid the dead ends in their paths. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With 24 million copies of his books sold, Nesbø is now second only to Stieg Larsson among Scandinavian crime writers. His fame is sure to grow still more as Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are about to begin filming The Snowman. --Bill Ott


"An expertly plotted, compelling and gripping white-knuckle ride... Nesbo deserves to be crowned the king of all crime thriller writers" Sunday Express "A cat-and-mouse chase between a young prisoner and a troubled detective, this is a tense, violent and hugely absorbing walk on the murky side of Oslo" Sunday Mirror "Nesbo never fails to deliver a cracking narrative - and this is one of his best" Mail on Sunday "An excellent novelist... Nesbo paints an intricate, disturbing picture of rampant corruption within prison and the police service... The strong action is tempered by tenderness" -- Marcel Berlins The Times "Gripping from start to finish" -- John Williams Mail on Sunday

Product Details

  • File Size: 3826 KB
  • Print Length: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Tra edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GVZV818
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
111 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning new standalone thriller by Jo Nesbo April 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Most people will know Jo Nesbo's books through his very popular Harry Hole series. This time Nesbo has written a standalone thriller "The Son" (Sonnen in Norwegian) which IMHO equals if not surpasses his best Harry Hole thrillers. It is a pretty long and complex read and some of the violent parts may not be to everyone's taste.

Sonny Lofthus idolised his father, Ab, who was a police officer. At an impressionable age Sonny is faced with the apparent suicide of his father after admitting charges of corruption. His mother turns to alcohol and takes an overdose of pills. Left alone Sonny goes off the rails and becomes a drug addict. At the age of eighteen he confesses to murders he didn't commit in return for a promise from gangsters of a constant supply of drugs while he is in prison.

During the 18 years he has been in prison, despite his addiction, Sonny has become a charismatic and calm figure who other prisoners come to for absolution of their sins. One day a prisoner with terminal cancer makes a confession admitting that Sonny's father was murdered. This triggers off a major change in Sonny so that he can take vengeance on all those who had a hand in his father's murder. His main problem is that he is in prison, is a drug addict and has never lived outside as an adult.

While the main storyline is about Sonny it is also closely connected with the life of Chief Inspector Simon Kefas, who was a close friend of Ab Loftus. After Ab's death Simon's potentially brilliant career investigating fraud and corruption came to an end because of his addiction to gambling. Simon is now a reformed man and a dedicated leader of the homicide squad. On the home front his wife is rapidly losing her eyesight and Simon will do anything to save it.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although I own a slew of Nesbo's Harry Hole books, I never did know where to begin. So, when this stand-alone was offered, I decided to give it a go. Therefore, I can't compare this to any book other than related thrillers or mysteries. It held its own, and I ripped through the pages in record time (just a few days), as I was riveted to the well-paced narrative. Nesbo did not squander character for plot; the main players were well-rounded and sympathetic.

Sonny Lofthus, now thirty, has been in prison for twelve years, since his father's death. Ab Lofthus, a police officer, apparently committed suicide, admitting to corruption in his suicide note. Sonny was a wrestling champ at school with a good future ahead, but after Ab's death, both he and his mother descended into despair. After his mother died of an overdose, Sonny became a heroin addict, and eventually agreed to take the fall for several murders and go to prison in return for being supplied heroin while locked up.

In prison, Sonny stays chiefly silent, and is known for having healing hands, almost holy hands that mend the broken soul. During a session where he lays his hands on a fellow inmate, at the start of the book, Sonny learns some startling news about his father--that, in fact, he was killed, and the corruption placed on him was bogus. This changes everything for Sonny, and in a convincing plan, he breaks out of prison with the help of the other, trusted convict.
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With the completion (?) of the 10-book Harry Hole series, author Jo Nesbo moves to a standalone tale of corruption, revenge and redemption within Oslo's police department -- and it is wonderful. If you're a Nesbo fan, RUN, do not walk, to get this terrific book.

Years ago, three friends entered the police academy: Pontius becomes police commissioner, Simon battles his personal demons and ends up kind of a loser in Homicide, and Ab commits suicide before he can be exposed as corrupt. Ab's son Sonny, now an orphan, becomes a heroin addict, content to be a professional scapegoat for a (very sinister) crime kingpin, but when an inmate reveals that he knows the truth about Ab's death, Sonny undergoes a remarkable transformation and embarks on a riveting mission of revenge. And Simon, his father's old friend, is assigned to catch him.

Like many readers I became enchanted with Scandinavian thrillers after reading the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and now I've read novels by dozens of talented authors, but Jo Nesbo is my very favorite. The Harry Hole series is amazing, with thrilling plots and a magnificent (if flawed) detective, so I was quite curious to see how a non-Hole Nesbo novel would read, and it knocked my socks off. The story is immediately compelling and the characters are sublime. There are at least 30 of them, but the author manages to keep each one memorable and distinct, and to humanize each of them, establishing empathy even when the character is not sympathetic. The story moves primarily, but not exclusively, between Simon the detective and Sonny the oddly gentle killer. At the same time, Simon is mentoring a new homicide detective, and this gives Nesbo the chance to show off Simon's talent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
A great read with enough twists and turns to keep your interest. First time reading Nesbo, now I will start on the rest.
Published 21 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars fantasist I thriller
Nesbo hits it out of the park. Rich characters, twisting narrative and insights into the human soul. One of his best.
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Son is a fine entry in the Nesbo's crime fiction
I have read all of Jo Nesbo's books. I am glad that he is taking a respite from the Harry Hole novels. This one is exciting and the plot is well developed. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Carol Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!!
Best suspense novel I have read in a long while. Unbelievable ending!!! The author is a brilliant storyteller. I can't wait to read his next book!!!
Published 9 days ago by Marguerite Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book and ending.
Published 10 days ago by Jeff Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Son
This was an excellent book. Kept me guessing til the end. It was about a boy Sonny who was in prison for crimes her really didn't commit. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Brenda L. Whitner
5.0 out of 5 stars Nesbo fans won't be disappointed.
I'm a big Harry Hole fan so was nervous but this book was just as well written. Could not put it down. Nesbo fans won't be disappointed.
Published 14 days ago by Christie H. Michie
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious page turner!
This thriller has terrific pace and feeling - it's a story that could appear in any news spot today! WHOA !
Published 15 days ago by Alice
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This Book!!
If this is the type of writing you can expect from Jo Nesbo, then yes, more please! Fast paced, though provoking and extremely well written. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Cherise
4.0 out of 5 stars First Jo Nesbo - how can I have resisted for ...
First Jo Nesbo - how can I have resisted for so long. Just trying to figure out which ones to buy next.
Published 16 days ago by Ken
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Explain the ending of "The Son" (Spoiler)
I know - are we meant to believe it's the Son, and if so, does that raise the possibility that Simon (who handed down dark traits) was actually the father? Nesbo said the Son so resembled his mother...
Dec 8, 2014 by Conor and Liz Grennan |  See all 2 posts
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