I wanted to read this book because I have read some of the Harry Hole books (and have still others in a big TBR pile!) and enjoyed them, particularly “The Bat” which I read recently and gave me the introduction to Harry that I had been missing. I therefore really wanted to like this book, and I did, but perhaps not as much as I thought I would.
I have to say, I have not been looking forward to reviewing it either, as I’m still not sure what I’m going to say, and that might be the theme of the book to be honest.
Jo Nesbo is certainly a great author. His characters grab you by the hand and drag you into their world in the first instant you meet them, and there are some great characters in this book. Sonny, “The Son” who has been imprisoned for so long for crimes he did not commit and is such a likeable young man despite all the awful things he does. I also like the way, in this novel, that these things are not excused and he is not made out to be a hero for doing them, unlike in some others I have read.
Simon Kefas is a complicated policeman with a disappointing past and an uncertain future because his young wife is going blind and he needs a fortune to pay for an eye operation for her. Once again, I really liked the character of Simon, for all his flaws and I had no idea how he would end up.
My favourite characters were those that Sonny met when he escaped from prison, including Lars and Markus – these were the people who really fleshed out the story for me and made it show a lot more character and heart.
Would I recommend this novel? I would. I did enjoy it – it’s quite long, as all Nesbo’s novels are, and there are plenty of characters to get to know and understand, but the thing about Jo Nesbo is, the characters are not confusing because they are so clear and well defined that you always know who they are and what they do.
If you haven’t read a Harry Hole book, this is a way to get to know Nesbo’s style in a stand alone before investing the time it would take to read all about Hole; and if you have read Hole, you’ll enjoy the same careful, and clever style this is written in.
Read it, I think you’ll like it!