Jon is on the run. He has betrayed Oslo’s biggest crime lord: The Fisherman.
Fleeing to an isolated corner of Norway, to a mountain town so far north that the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary amongst a local religious sect.
Hiding out in a shepherd’s cabin in the wilderness, all that stands between him and his fate are Lea, a bereaved mother and her young son, Knut.
But while Lea provides him with a rifle and Knut brings essential supplies, the midnight sun is slowly driving Jon to insanity.
And then he discovers that The Fisherman’s men are getting closer…
Jo Nesbo is back with a new standalone novel called Midnight Sun that will, I’m sure, receive a mixed reaction. There is no Harry Hole, no Snowman but there is violence, drugs and a damaged leading man – Jo Nesbo does this incredibly well!
Of the two standalones, Blood on Snow (reviewed in May this year) remains my clear favourite. There’s something about Olav that kept me turning the pages and despite the fact that he was a hitman there was something rather endearing about him!
Both protagonists have depth but I struggled to like Jon in Midnight Sun, I’m not sure if it was the character or the way Nesbo presented him. My favourite character by far was Lea’s son Knut who is a curious, inquisitive and lovely kid who wants to know everything. He wants to be liked and loved. It was clear to me that Knut was missing a strong male influence in his life and for whatever reason Jon – or Ulf’s – arrival brought him to life. He loves his jokes and he wanted to help Jon, the relationship between the two was incredibly touching. I could have done with many more scenes between the two!
Recovering from the death of his daughter and the guilt of failing to save her, Jon steals money from The Fisherman, a crime boss in Oslo, and runs for his life in Northern Norway where the sun never sets. And so begins a new adventure in his life but one constant, alcohol is never far away.
The majority of the story is set in a hunter’s cabin and it makes for a wonderful and atmospheric setting. You could just imagine walking to the stream and washing, just how nature intended! As I’ve mentioned there is a little violence and a few scenes that made me squirm but this is typical Nesbo!
The book is quite short and finished way too soon for me, I felt as if more of the past and for that matter the present could have been explored to greater depth but it wasn’t. I do think the author missed a trick with this and the ending will be a marmite one. Some will enjoy it, some will hate it and some will be undecided. I’m sitting on the fence, I’m still not sure how I felt about the ending but one thing I am certain of, I wanted it to finish in a different way but without spoilers I can’t go any further with this train of thought! This is very much up to the individual reader! Oh and before I forget, watch out for the twist!
Also reviewed on Raven Crime Reads
- Hardcover:224 pages
- Publisher:Harvill Secker (5 Nov. 2015)