Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Son

by Jo Nesbø
402 pgs

Remember the name Jo Nesbø. He's a Norwegian author who's best known internationally, and ever increasingly here in the U.S., for his series featuring Harry Hole, an anti-authoritarian cop. With Martin Scorsese slated to direct The Snowman (Harry Hole # 7), I think Nesbø's time of relative obscurity here in the States will be coming to an end soon. The Son is a stand-alone novel and therefore a great book to serve as an introduction to Nesbø if you've never read anything by him.

Sonny Lofthus is an addict whose life spiraled out of control at the age of 18 following his father's apparent suicide. Sonny has been serving time in prison ever since for crimes he didn't commit. He confessed to committing them on the promise of a constant supply of drugs for as long as he's locked up. He's a self-hating tool being used by a ruthless crime lord in Oslo, but that all changes when he learns from another inmate that many years ago his father was murdered. Sonny's life finally has a purpose again and he sets into motion his plan to escape from prison and exact revenge against those responsible for his father's death and his own imprisonment.

It's a great story and it reminded me throughout of one of my all-time favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo. The characters are complex, from Sonny to Simon Kefas, the cop trying to stop his killing spree, and you can't help but pull for both of them, even though neither one of them is a knight in shining armor.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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