Man, what a story. Jo Nesbø is a Norwegian author who has written 12+ books about a detective named Harry Hole. My library has like, half of them available on audiobook and while I’ve heard they’re very good, I hate starting a series if I can’t access all the titles! But this novel, The Son, is a stand-alone so I gave it a shot. It was excellent, and now I’m certain I’ll have to start the Harry Hole series.
“Suddenly he realised why so many of the inmates went to the young man to talk. It was the silence. The beckoning vacuum of someone who simply listens without reaction or judgement. Who extracts your words and your secrets from you without doing anything at all.”
The book starts out a young man named Sonny Lofthus — a professional fall guy who has served 12 years in jail having confessed to crimes he didn’t commit in order to maintain access to his drug of choice, heroin. He sits in his cell, nodding and smiling while other criminals come in and confess their sins to him. Then one day, a confession imparts information Sonny actually cares about. Information about the death of his father. This prompts him to make an escape, and start hunting down the truth.
There’s a detective following Sonny, but he’s not the focus of the novel (honestly, I can’t remember his name and it’s not mentioned in the summary or reviews on Goodreads, so that probably tells you something). He’s older, seasoned, sort of grumpy — you know the type. I did like his partner, a young athletic woman who brings a fresh perspective to the case. But really, the story here is Sonny.
It’s a gruesome story, too, with lots of darkness and revenge (there are dogs bred to kill people. the dogs don’t all make it to the end. Caitlin_D, do not read this book). The plotting is amazing — I was hooked right away and could not wait to find out how it ended. If you like these kinds of books, you should give this one a try.