The Son – Jo Nesbo

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Like crime fiction? Stop what you are doing, right now. Go and buy this book. Yes, right now. Yes, it is that good. Do not, under any circumstances, miss it.

First, the background. Sonny Lofthus is a model prisoner (and drug addict) in an Oslo jail. He confesses to crimes in exchange for the continuing supply of drugs. After 12 years inside, acting as a confidant to other prisoners who want to unburden themselves, one day a confession sets him off. And so the bloody trail begins.

Sonny’s father and mother are dead. His dad was a policeman who committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt officer of the law. The new information sends Sonny into the world, looking for revenge. While he is on that mission, his father’s former police partner – Simon Kefas – is the one trying to stop him.

This is a cracking, violent, blockbuster of a book, The characters are, largely, interesting and enticing. The plot is brilliantly seeded, and unraveled with consummate skill. Page tuner? You bet. The one fear as you go along may be that the ending will be a disappointment. Trust me; it’s more of the same. This book is quality, quality, quality.

Weak parts? I wasn’t sure of the character known as the Twin. Without giving too much away, his character felt less than well developed. He was almost a background baddie. Now, I don’t think that detracted from the plot, but I would have liked to know a little bit more of him.

Beyond that, this book delivered what it promised: a bloody good read.

Finally, a word of thanks to the translator, Charlotte Barslund. I have experienced good books that lost impact due to a dud translation. Here, it’s a seemingly seamless translation. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.