Jo Nesbo is taking a break (perhaps forever) from the wildly popular Harry Hole crime novels. In this interim, he has produced The Son, a taut standalone thriller and two books in the so-called Blood on Snow trilogy. I read and reviewed Blood on Snow last year and was less than wowed by it, so I came to Midnight Sun with a fair amount of skepticism.
Continuing in the loosely linked milieu of Oslo’s underworld in the 70’s, Jon is a fixer for the Fisherman. But a fixer with a serious handicap: he just cannot bring himself to actually pull the trigger. When he lets one of his marks go with a promise to get gone and never speak of this again (while splitting the take) you know it’s not going to end well.
When the Fisherman gets wind of what Jon has actually (not) done, it’s time for the fixer to get fixed. Jon hops a bus for the far north, landing in Sami country, where he meets Sara and her son Knut, who help him hide out in an old hunting cabin. While hiding out, we learn more about Jon, including his sad, if formulaic past. As happens all too often in such books, Jon (calling himself Ulf) falls in love with Sara, who along with her young son, has suffered at the hands of her recently presumed-dead husband.
This book wasn’t awful, just a whole bunch of meh, and thankfully short. Nesbo really can be a compelling writer, though. Of the non-Harry Hole books, stick to Headhunters and The Son.