Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review: "The Son" by Jo Nesbo

Reading a Jo Nesbo book is always fun, even when certain ideas don’t really add up, like the time in Headhunters where the protagonist finds that (SPOILER ALERT) he has trackers in the follicles of his hair, or some of the plot twists in Nesbo’s latest Harry Hole-less novel, The Son. In the mystery genre, I think it is typical to have better plots than characters. This is something I prefer. Not to say that character is not important, but this genre benefits from it, and one of the cases for this idea is Nesbo himself, who crafts characters that are extremely unique and have many layers, but his plots can be very confusing and do not hold a candle to how interesting some of the people who populate those plots can be. The book starts off very good, with Sonny, the “son” of the title, in a prison cell, high on heroin, listening to the brutal confession of a reformed criminal who is about to be released from prison. On one hand, the other prisoner’s flock to Sonny in search of forgiveness for their sins. None have come across someone who will purely and attentively listen to their stories without judgment, no matter how horrible. But Sonny is also a heroin addict stuck in a living hell, with his decade long addiction being fed by an intricate crime syndicate led by the terrifying and elusive “Twin” who make him confess to murders he didn’t commit to get more drugs. But when he learns the truth about his late corrupt cop father, he breaks out of prison and seeks revenge, with Simon, a detective with his own problems on his tail. The characters here are great, even the minor ones, with The Twin being quite scary and disturbing, and deserving of his own book. But the revelations can be okay at best or confusing and silly at their worst, especially the big one at the end. But if you can get past that, this is a perfect summer book.

Reading: 4/5

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