Monday, December 12, 2016

An Excellent Stand-Alone Novel from the Creator of Harry Hole

This is a very good stand-alone novel from Jo Nesbo, author of the series featuring the brilliant Norwegian homicide detective, Harry Hole. This psychological thriller features two protagonists. The first is a young man named Sonny Loftus. Sonny's father was exposed as a corrupt cop and took his own life. Completely destroyed by the loss of the father he adored and disillusioned by the revelations about the man, Sonny turns to drugs. Now in his middle-thirties, Sonny has spend half his life in prison, and he's now serving time for crimes that he did not commit. As a reward for confessing to crimes perpetrated by others, he is given "easy" time and access to an on-going supply of heroin.

Sonny has a rare gift of empathy and has earned a reputation among his fellow prisoners as a figure who can absolve them of their sins. Whether he actually can or not is immaterial, but the prisoners who confess to him almost always feel a deep sense of relief once they have done so. But then one day Sonny receives information that turns his world upside down. His reaction is to make a very clever break from the prison and set out on a mission known only to himself.

The second major protagonist is Simon Kefas, the policeman who attempts to track Sonny down. Simon was Sonny's father's partner and best friend and, more than anything else, Simon wants to protect Sonny from the consequences of his own actions.

The story's point of view shifts back and forth between the two main characters and the tension mounts from start to finish. Both are flawed and very intriguing characters, and in the end the reader may have a tough time deciding which of them to root for. It's an absorbing story from Nesbo that will appeal to a variety of readers, especially to the fans of his Harry Hole novels.

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