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The Son Paperback – August 20, 2014
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"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
About the Author
Jo Nesbo played football for Norway's premier league team Modle, but his dream of playing professionally for Spurs was dashed when he tore crucial ligaments in his knee at the age of eighteen. After three years military service he attended business school and formed the band Di derre (Them There). Their second album topped the charts in Norway, but he continued working as a financial analyst, crunching numbers during the day and gigging at night. When commissioned by a publisher to write a memoir about life on the road with his band, he instead came up with the plot for his first Harry Hole crime novel, The Bat. He is regarded as one of Europe's leading crime writers, with both The Leopard and Phantom topping the UK bestseller charts, and his novels are published in 40 countries. Visit www.jonesbo.co.uk for further information.
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Those same traits he distributes in Headhunters to both Clas Greve and Roger Brown. Again, teasing my anticipation, but denying the reader predictability or concordance.
Throughout, Nesbo remains a master of pacing and close observation. I continue to marvel, and often re-read long passages to verify for myself, that he is able to suspend a moment of pivotal action and share a lengthy paragraph or two of interior reflection, as different from one character to the next as the characters themselves.
If I were to find myself ineluctably compelled to write, Nesbo would be one of my regular "go-to" muses.
Nesbo is well known for his series featuring Harry Hole, however, Harry is on vacation, and this is a story that may develop its own heroine. The latest is 'The Son' which tells the story of Sonny, a 30-year-old heroin addict who has been in prison in a new state-of-the-art facility in Oslo, for over 12 years. What we find is that Sonny has developed into a Buddha like character, soft spoken, when he does speak. Sitting in his cell most of the day bestowing whatever those who come to see him, need. He is the son of a police officer who committed suicide for breaking the law. Sonny and his mother idolized his father, and when his mother dies, Sonny drifts to heroin and is convinced to confess to murder in exchange for all the heroin he needs. One day Sonny learns all is not as he was told, and he breaks out of jail and starts exacting his own justice.
At about the same time, we meet Inspector Simon Kefas, one of the most intelligent and wise of the police. Known for his ethics in his work, he is admired and feared. Simon once was a gambling addict, but the love of his good wife set him on the path to the good life. Now, his wife is ill, and Simon must figure out how to best help her. On this day, when Simon is investigating a new death, a young policewoman, Kari Adel, is introduced. He is to be her mentor. Together, they form a team that seems unbeatable, but all is not as it seems. Finding and stopping Sonny's murderous rampage is their job. Good Luck.
This is a novel with much to say about it. The good guys, the bad guys, love, hate, pathos and revenge. So much more, but that is left for you to discover.
Recommended. prisrob 05-17-14
Simon Kefas, the chief inspector in THE SON, is also reminiscent of Hole. Kefas fights a constant battle against addictions (gambling), corrupt city officials, moles in the police ranks, and he prefers to do his own thing when chasing after criminals.
Sonny Lofthus is "the son" who lost his way in life after his father committed suicide and was revealed to have been a corrupt police officer working for "the Twin," Oslo's legendary crime overlord. Sonny willingly went to prison for other people's crimes in exchange for a steady supply of heroin so he could stay high and escape his past - but when Sonny finds out that his father's "suicide" was really murder then he escapes from prison and begins a quest to find and punish everyone responsible for his father's death and for the crimes that Sonny himself was serving time for.
You have to stretch your imagination a bit to believe that a junkie imprisoned for twelve years could in the course of a few days plan a dramatic escape from Norway's most secure prison - much less do all the dramatic things he does on the outside in almost super-hero fashion - but nonetheless it is a compelling story of a son trying to avenge his father's death.
Nesbo succeeds in THE SON in much the same way as he does in so many of the Harry Hole novels - by putting his characters in complex moral situations where they must make hard choices, and where we as readers are forced to root for someone to succeed in doing things that are otherwise horrific.
The high point of the book is the interaction between Simon and Sonny - because Simon had at one time been Sonny's father's best friend. There's a great exchange where Nesbo writes "the only guarantee you have in life is that you're going to die ..." Then later it's Simon who tells Sonny that, "a son's responsibility isn't to be like his father, but to be better than him." In reality, that's the theme of this excellent book by Nesbo - and while it might be predictable and unrealistic at times, I'd still highly recommend it.