Oooooh man, Jo is back! After reading Headhunters, I was afraid I'd never like a non-Harry Hole novel. BUT. WOW. The Son is all twisty and turny and tOooooh man, Jo is back! After reading Headhunters, I was afraid I'd never like a non-Harry Hole novel. BUT. WOW. The Son is all twisty and turny and thought-provoking. You can relate to the characters, including (and especially) the drug addict on a killing spree. I knew Nesbø was incredible of course, but when a writer can make the reader relate to a character that is so far from themselves... Plus there is the inevitable questions about morality that pop up, the perfectly executed writing, one particularly shocking plot twist, and the general Nesbøness about it, and you have a real winner. There were one or two things that didn't quite sit right with me, but otherwise I enjoyed every second and couldn't put it down. After one or two of my favorite Harry Hole installments (Nemesis and The Snowman), this is one of my favorites of Jo's. Brace yourselves, readers....more
This was a good mystery, and I can see why it has been a bestseller in Europe, but... Way too graphic for me. Firstly in the murders (decapitation, flThis was a good mystery, and I can see why it has been a bestseller in Europe, but... Way too graphic for me. Firstly in the murders (decapitation, flaying people alive) and secondly in the gratuitous sexual acts. (Ok, they weren't graphic, but they were-for the most part-completely unnecessary to the story. Plus having a female character who puts out for every single guy she meets... obviously written by a man.)
Ugh, so with that out of the way... I liked the two related murders in two countries thing. I liked the way he tried to flesh out the detectives on either side of the ocean (although I could have used more). I liked the multiple flashbacks to the 16th century and to the detectives' pasts, although having so much going on in such a short book might have contributed to the not-quite-successful attempt at really complete characterization. I liked that it took place partially in Virginia, although really it could have been anywhere, and the Poe element, though cool, was a bit of a stretch. And I liked that Brekke is obviously an admirer of Jo Nesbø, not just in style and atmosphere, but to the point that he made a reference to Harry Hole (without naming names, of course). One of the characters has an obsession with mystery novels, and her comments about how to solve a fiction mystery were so self-aware of the author. I just loved that tiny cracking of the fourth wall.
So aside from Brekke trying to do too much with too few pages, unnecessary sex (plus a few personal relationships that made little sense), and murders that were too well-described for my taste, I thought this was a strong mystery, and I look forward to reading the next in the series....more
I hate to review this book because it seems I'm the only one in the world who just didn't adore it. Perhaps it was a matter of mindset. Because yes, tI hate to review this book because it seems I'm the only one in the world who just didn't adore it. Perhaps it was a matter of mindset. Because yes, the writing was beautiful, and I love all things Iceland, and the plot was interesting, and the interior thoughts of the characters were worth pondering, but. I think it was just too depressing for reading it when I did (on vacation). Also, I wanted a lot more from it. It felt incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying. Of course I didn't expect a happy ending, but I just wanted more closure of some kind, I guess. I wasn't convinced of the final mental state of many of the characters. So I just don't know. I think it really was a good book but at the wrong time for me....more