Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series is a great trilogy. Larsson’s “Millennium trilogy” swept the United States and World by storm, and introduced new readers to Nordic Crime novels and Scandinavian Thrillers. With Stieg Larsson in the ground, Jo Nesbø became the heir apparent to champion this burgeoning, yet niche genre of literature.
Some readers may know Jo Nesbø from his Harry Hole novels. But for most readers outside of Scandinavia; you probably have never heard the name Nesbø or Harry Hole. It’s a shame, because Scandinavian Crime Fiction is a strange, odd, twisted genre that I could see readers getting into if they start with the right novel.
The Son by Jo Nesbø is about a man named Sonny Lofthus. As far as Oslo P.D. is concerned, Lofthus is a criminal who has been incarcerated for the last dozen years. Within the prison walls, Sonny is a “monk” like a figure, a prisoner that rarely talks, and whom other prisoners confess their sins to. What everyone doesn’t know, is that Mr. Lofthus is a crime scapegoat, and he is the key piece in Oslo’s intricate network of corruption. After about a dozen years in a prison cell confessing to crimes he never committed, Lofthus finally acts upon his plans for revenge.
Corruption and revenge run deep in this novel. Every character you meet isn’t what they seem to be. It’s a twisted book that’ll have you guessing until the very end.
“The Son” was my first foray into Nordic Crime, and it made me delve deeper within the genre. For one of Nesbø’s few standalone novels, “The Son” is one of the best novels this niche genre has to offer.