Alfred A. Knopf, $23.95, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-385-35419-6
It seems like we’ve been reviewing a lot of first time authors lately, so we’re going to toss in a few of our favorite A-listers over the next couple of MBRs and mix it up a bit. First on the agenda is the “maddening-addictive,” critically acclaimed crown prince of Nordic Noir and a personal exemplar of ours . . . Norway’s most famous son . . . Jo Nesbo. He’s the internationally celebrated best-selling author and creator of the drug-addicted Oslo detective named Harry Hole, whose serial exploits have been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies. But in addition to his serial series, the talented Nesbo also writes and performs music, writes the Dr. Proctor children series, is an international economist, as well as a television writer and, oh yeah . . . he writes a few awesomely good stand-alone novels too, like this one . . .
Blood on Snow, by Jo Nesbo is a short, but intense novel, featuring one of the very best antiheros we’ve ever run into in any novel. He’s the first person narrator and protagonist. He’s dyslexic, a dreamer—who’s in his own words— “Not much good at anything,” he’s a loner, a failed pimp; a broken loan-shark; a frequent borrower and reader of books at the library; he’s in love, but in courtly fashion, from afar, with a severely disabled woman and he tries to write stories in his head. His name is Olav. He’s a “fixer” for one of the two biggest crime-lords in Oslo, and he’s one of the best at the job—a dry-eyed, unemotional, stone-cold contract killer of other human beings. But when Hoffman—the crime-boss he answers to—gives Olav the job of fixing his beautiful, but unfaithful young wife and promises a fee of five times the usual rate . . . Olav figures he’ll be next on the list. As soon as he fixes the wife, he’ll know too much to be trusted . . . or so he thinks, because the twists and turns, the gunfights, back-stabbings and treachery is only just the beginning in this noir thriller you won’t quit reading until the last word on the last page. Find out for yourself why Nesbo has captured the world’s attention. He’s a monster writer without equal. You’ll love him on page one . . . and every page after!