Nesbo is a Norwegian author who has made his mark in English speaking countries with translations of a series of novels about Harry Hole, who is a detective operating in Norway. The Son is a stand alone novel and an excellent addition to his previous books.
Sonny Loftus has been in prison for 12 years for crimes that he has not committed. He is compensated by an easy incarceration and all the heroin he can consume to insure that he take the blame for those crimes. He is popular with the other prisoners due to his ability to calm them down and soothe them.
Sonny became an addict when his father, a police officer, committed suicide and he agreed to serve time in jail. But when Sonny learns a long held secret about his father, he executes a brilliant escape from prison and begins to hunt the people that caused his father’s suicide. Among these are two men; one known as the “Twin” and the other the “Mole,” who figure prominently in the crime scene in Oslo.
In the course of his investigation, Sonny meets a young woman who is head of a home for the indigent and falls in love with her. She reciprocates when she meets him while he is staying at the home. He also successfully kicks the heroin habit and becomes fixated with living a normal life with Martha, the young lady he met.
Police methods, investigations and good and evil people are similar to these types all over the world and the events of Sonny’s quests, while set in Oslo, are very much like those of a novel set anywhere else in the world. Characterizations are well done and readers will empathize with Sonny and his decisions to take vengeance on various people, as well as his finding both the “Twin” and the “Mole”.
Well done and engrossing book.
5/14 Paul Lane
THE SON by Jo Nesbo. Knopf (May 13, 2014). ISBN 978-0385351379. 416p.