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?
©2014 Jo Nesbø (P)2014 Random House Audio
Jo Nesbo has said there are advantages and disadvantages when writing about the same universe. The author and reader sharing a knowledge of the back-story might make things a little easier in some cases, but there is a significant challenge in keeping the characters fresh and interesting.
I am a big fan of the Harry Hole series and this book represented a 17 hour investment of my time in a different Nesbo universe - would it be up to the standard set in 12 Harry Hole books?
It was. I've always loved the insights Jo Nesbo gives us into his characters and their motivations. This book had more of the same. It was actually a little refreshing to be immersed in this authors style of writing and not revisiting the same old battles that Harry Hole contends with. We get introduced to different detectives with different flaws and a hero who is viewed by many as a villain.
While listening to this book there never was a moment where i looked at the time remaining and felt like there was work. It was more like - ten hours left ... I don't want this to end.
Being familiar with this authors style at the 16 hour mark I remember having an aha moment. The current was pushing me in one direction and this was fine, but having been tricked so many times before I actually anticipated a twist in the plot. This was one of the few times I've twigged to a Nesbo formula. That did not detract in any way from the book and there were still plenty of Nesbo zigs when I was ready to zag.
In short, this is an excellent book and this review has not imparted any of the story line. Sometimes that is the best way to start a book. So download this gem and start listening.
Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
Any one following my reccomendations will know what a huge fan I am of Nesbo's Harry Hole series. That said I was a bit reticent to purchase this one based on some reviews and the publisher's summary. Fortunately I came accross Gail's review and she persuaded me to take the plunge.
The beginning chapters, which are critical to understanding the mystery of the main character, were a bit tedious for me. I may have given up had it not been for my confidence in Nesbo's writing. Somewhere soon after the first few chapters, a remarkable sense of purpose reveals itself to the son as well as to the reader. As the story unravels so does the suspense. This is a fantastic story.
The Son is a complex story of betrayal, shame, pennance, masterful revenge. It involves a great deal of great police work, with remarkable characters.
Gildart Jackson does a great job with the narration.
This is easily a five star book for me!
I really liked this story in the typically dark Scandinavian murder tradition, but the narrator was one of the most wooden readers I've ever listened to. In places it really ruined the story for me. I will avoid Gildart Jackson in the future.
I am a Harry Hole fan, so I expected a good story. This was so much more.
Built on the same format--police, criminals, an evil plot--but unexpected twists and turns with every page. Then the story became more about the people than the plot. Nesbo doesn't write 3-dimensional characters; he takes them even further.
You will never guess the ending!
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Is it because these people way up there in the North of Europe have so many loooong nights? Is that why their novels are so dark and cold? This one is pure Nesbo. Which is to say... captivating to the point of kidnapping your attention away from the rest of life.
Now... this starts slowly... the way winter comes on, y'know? But all at once you're in and wandering around inside of Nesbo's full-gust imagination. And Gildart Jackson has a voice that seems to grab its air from an impending thunderstorm. Y'know... a sense of oncoming menace but always just faintly felt.
Liked this production and, didn't see the ending coming, yet it held together like nighttime blood pooled outside during Nesbo's Northern European winters.
Though parts were satisfying revenge fantasy, it was so implausible, and the villain so cartoonish (with his massive bone crushing hands etc.) that the story lost me by the end. Religious references were heavy handed.
Tell us about yourself!
The Son is in prison for two murders he didn't commit. After hearing information about his fathers murder, he escapes from prison to seek revenge upon the guilty. Simon is the detective on his trail, he knew Sonny's father many years back and doesn't want to see Sonny get hurt. The Twin is also looking for Sonny. He had an important part in the death/suicide of Sonnys father. All this comes together in another thrilling Jo Nesbo story.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Gildart Jackson narrating this book. He touched on the tone of the story making it easy to listen to.
The story is intricate and the characters finely drawn ... tension is not contrived. A really sublime crime thriller. This is Jo Nesbø at his best. I don't even miss Harry Hole.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
Jo Nesbø impresses me to no end. I love the Harry Hole series and didn't know what to expect with this one. I thought without Harry it would be second rate. I was SO wrong.
This is simply an engaging mystery. Yes, again it's dark like his other books. But the characters are so engaging I could over look it. (Yes, they are implausible. That's why it's fiction.)
There are plenty of reviews on this site with more detail about the book. I don't need to rehash it. What I can tell you is this: if you're a fan of authors like Dennis Lehane, Stieg Larsson, and Adrian McKinty then you need to give Nesbø a listen.
It's hard to review Jo Nesbo novels. One tends to compare them against the author's previous work and it's hard to measure up. I did not think this was one of his best (it's not Snowman). Some of the plot twists are a bit too farfetched and there is never any good reason given for Sonny's ethereal qualities. (Did not really felt the novel needed him to be such an other-worldly guy...Simple goodness would have been just fine.) Still, the story moves with unrelenting pace and the mystery is a good one. Yes, I suspected how it would end sooner than I would have liked but I think that's simply because I am aware of Nesbo's tricks!
If you have not read Nesbo before, try Snowman first. If you are a fan of Nesbo, by all means download The Son. And enjoy!
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