Before the holiday feel good books start why not try something to get your heart pounding? I’m an ardent fan of Henning Mankell the Swedish author and activist who died in 2015. His series featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander has been made into several films including the English language version on PBS starring Kenneth Branagh. He captured Wallander’s angst perfectly (unless you are Swedish and love that series more!). The first Wallander novel is “Faceless Killers”. There is something captivating about the cold, stark Swedish landscape that drives these books and which Mankell describes so beautifully.
With the death of Mankell why not try another Scandinavian author, Jo Nesbo? This Norwegian says his “soulmate” is his protagonist Harry Hole first featured in “The Bat” and appearing in a total of 12 novels. These have been described as multi-layered and violent.
Which brings us to Nesbo’s stand alone “The Son”. The New York Times Book Review says it’s “intricately disturbing” and that describes it perfectly. Charismatic Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for years and is a father confessor to the other prisoners. He’s a heroin addict and appears so calm and spiritual that they unburden themselves to him by describing intimate details of their crimes. Sonny may appear mute but he is plotting his revenge on the corrupt officials that unjustly threw him in prison. When Sonny finds out from a fellow prisoner that his father probably didn’t commit suicide and may or may not have been the mole in the police force the action really begins. Nesbo is skilled at creating interesting supporting characters and a fast paced plot. You will find yourself rooting for Sonny as he escapes and gets his revenge. This is one very intense, satisfying read that you will savor. Now on to another Nesbo.