The Son – Jo Nesbo

About the book:  Sonny Lofthus, in his early thirties, has been in prison for the last dozen years: serving time for crimes he didn’t commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and the unexpected stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his uncanny abilities to soothe and absolve.

His addiction started when his father committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt cop, and now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed, and all of them under the thumb of Oslo’s crime overlord, the Twin.

When Sonny learns some long-hidden truths about his father he makes a brilliant escape, and begins hunting down the people responsible for the hideous crimes he’s paid for. But he’s also being hunted, by the Twin, the cops, and the only person who knows the ultimate truth that Sonny is seeking. The question is, what will he do when they’ve cornered him? 

The author of the internationally best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo’s hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge. 

About the author: Jo Nesbo is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children’s book, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver.

My Review: This is my first Jo Nesbo book (gasp.. yes I know I really need to start the Harry Hole series), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  This book is a standalone and is a great introduction to Norwegian crime fiction if you haven’t already tried it.

The Son is about Sonny Lofthus, a young man who has spent the past 12 years in a high security prison for crimes he didn’t commit.  He survives his prison sentence by listening to other inmates confess their crimes and taking an endless supplies of heroin.  One inmate makes a shocking confession to Sonny which turns his world and beliefs upside down and he plans a daring escape to hunt down those who have wronged him.

Whilst this book is a slow-burner, the action flows, the main characters are well developed and despite a huge cast of characters I found it easy to follow the plot even with all the Scandinavian names and places.

This is one of those books that you find yourself cheering on the main character despite him carrying out some despicable and truly violent killings.  There are several twists in the story that keep you guessing throughout and overall I thought it was a perfect introduction to Jo Nesbo and I look forward to reading The Harry Hole series soon.



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