The Son The Son discussion


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THE SON by Jo Nesbo

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message 1: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer Just saw a review on this one by the Norwegian noir
writer. It's hard to tell if it's a new one or just the translation of a previously unpublished novel in America.


Vicki Elia This is a new novel, completely divorced from the Harry Hole series with different characters, although the setting is the same.


message 3: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer Oh, good. I was getting sick of Harry getting beat up(and worse) all the time.


Vicki Elia This is a new guy getting beat up. A good read, but it has many character parallels to Harry, and sometimes I would wonder off in thought, forgetting that they were different characters. Nesbo does do a masterful job, though, with a very unique and chilling plot.


message 5: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer I got the last couple from Vine for nothing. I skipped the last offering because I'd just read one, and I got the feeling I'd been reading them out of order. Harry's new boss was his old boss from a previous book. Still like him almost as much as Larsson.
I wonder how far along Stieg Larsson's book was when he died. Seems like he had at least one draft done. One would think the girlfriend would do the best job of finishing it. I can't imagine him not talking to her about it.


Betsy Hetzel Curious.... what did you LIKE about the character Sonny?
I know nothing about drug withdrawal other than I've heard that is an excruciating process. Was Sonny's withdrawal of a 12 year habit written in a believable way?


message 7: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita I just finished "The Son" and I'm not sure like is a good word to put with Sonny, but I definitely could understand him and had compassion for him. I have little familiarity with addiction, but I felt the writing of the withdrawal went along with the character, so it worked for me.

I never got confused with Harry and the character in this book. I do like the Norwegian noir which is the commonality in these books.


Betsy Hetzel To me, Sonny is a sympathetic character, imprisoned and taking the rap for various crimes/murders in exchange for a steady supply of heroin to support his 12 year habit. With everything that follows, he is simply a good guy on a mission of revenge going after the bad guys and because of his many good qualities, no matter how many he killed, I never stopped liking or rooting for him because I felt his inherent goodness and compassion How did others feel about Sonny?


message 9: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer Sounds like I should be reading SONNY; I'm a Nesbo fan; I've read four or five of his novels. In one of my reviews I said that Harry gets beat up more than Jim Rockford in the "Rockford Files." Very sad loss.


message 10: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita David, definitely read "The Son." And come back and tell us your thoughts.


Betsy Hetzel Help me here: a boy, now a 30 year old man, in prison for 12 years who doesn't know how to use a mobile phone, etc. YET .... knows all about how to destroy every piece of evidence that would link him to the killings e.g. taking bullets from holes in walls, taking shells w/ him, etc. I wondered HOW did he learn all this? Did that seem believable to you?


message 12: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita Betsy, your question made me chuckle, since I'm technology-challenged. I never gave that a thought. But, I suspect digging bullets out of walls had nothing to do with technology. Old Agatha Christie books had lots of "how to's" when it came to crime. And 30 years ago, when my kids were small, they had fingerprint toy kits. So, to me it did seem believable! And, of course, the bigger scenario to think about was his dad was a cop, so there could have been lots of crime type conversations around the dinner table.


Betsy Hetzel Great explanation, Anita, thanks! Always helpful to get someone else's perspective !

You know, the more that I think about Sonny, the more I like him: the kindness that he shows toward the homeless man, the ways he helps the young boy in the house across the street from his, and then falling hopelessly in love. Yep, he did some bad things, but to me, he was a good guy. Your thoughts?


message 14: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita I sometimes struggle with what makes a good person. We all know good people who do bad things and we all know bad people who do good things. So how do we really "define" good or bad? I would guess we're the sum of all we do, so if the good list is longer, we're good? lol I do believe all of us need to give and accept compassion in our lives and I definitely felt that for Sonny. Did I like him? I like who he wanted to be, but did understand where he was coming from. I do think where we come from plays a big role in who we become.


Betsy Hetzel Wonderful, insightful answer, Anita ; you made some very valid points, and I agree with your statements.


message 16: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer Betsy wrote: "Wonderful, insightful answer, Anita ; you made some very valid points, and I agree with your statements."

Is "Sonny" Harry's girlfriend Rakel's son? Seems like Harry would fit your definition of good and bad, Anita, with his drug background and somewhat violent approach to his job, but he usually deals with serial killers so what are you gonna do?


message 17: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita No, David, these are stand alone characters.


Betsy Hetzel As with all Nesbo's books, I love the many twists, turns and lightning bolts: a police inspector who had early on gone bad, one whom you would not suspect, betrayals of best friends, two moles, not one, inside the police force = wow! He comes up with some good ones! But, I loved the father's diary turning everything upside down and the constant feeling of tension. I really liked this book, even w/out good, ole' Harry. What did you like about it?


Betsy Hetzel Would you like Nesbo to write more stand alone books like THE SON or are you anxious for another Harry Hole book? Do you prefer one over the other?


message 20: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita While I love Harry, I like an author who is versatile. I hope Nesbo continues stand alone books. and I hope there is not a sequel to Sonny, but think there could be.


message 21: by David (new)

David Schwinghammer Is SONNY a recent publication? I have a feeling the several I read were published in Norway quite a while ago.


Betsy Hetzel David, This is THE SON by Nesbo; Sonny is the main character in it. I think that you would like it. I know of no Nesbo book SONNY.


message 23: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita "The Son" is a new book. Since Nesbo became popular, his older Harry Hole books have been translated into English. So it is possible you have been reading older books.


Davisburns Betsy wrote: "Help me here: a boy, now a 30 year old man, in prison for 12 years who doesn't know how to use a mobile phone, etc. YET .... knows all about how to destroy every piece of evidence that would link..."

I would think 12 years in prison would teach you most of that. People talked to him, he listened. He probably heard a lot of stories about leaving evidence behind that convinced them.

No so sure about the drug withdrawal from heroin but I took Rx morphine for several years. Can't say I had a psychological dependence but when I decided it didn't help that much I just quit. Had a headache and felt under the weather a few days. No big deal.


Davisburns I listened to this book and am left with a few questions. Sometimes when you miss something it is hard to find it again without listen to the whole thing again. Did we learn when and how Sonny's mother died. How old was he? Who was the body in the freezer in his house that Marta finds? Did my one else think Sonny might have been Simon's son?


Davisburns I enjoy the Harry Hole books but I have a hard time with the constant smoking and general way he abuses his body. He smokes so much, I have a sore throat and need fresh air any the end of the book. I also wonder how anyone can find him attractive with the never washing, booze and cigs. Guess it's a good writer that make you feel sick from bad living the character does.


Betsy Hetzel To Davisburns, I can answer 2 of your questions:
1. Sonny's mother , heartbroken and griefstricken over the death of her husband/ Sonny's father, died of an overdose.
2. Sonny is 30 = He was sent to prison at 18 and has been there 12 years = 30.
That's the best that I can do :)


message 28: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita I don't remember all the characters by name, but the guy in the freezer was working for the twin trying to find Sonny. I, too, wondered about Sonny being Simon's son.


Betsy Hetzel Simon was Sonny's father's (supposed) best friend, right? Please do explain to me WHY you're thinking that Simon "might" be Sonny's father ?? What did I miss??


message 30: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita Spoiler Alert

Simon had been in love with Sonny's mom, when the three cops were young and best friends. I seem to remember Simon never really got over her. She was always a shadow in Simon's marriage.


Betsy Hetzel Davisburns, You wonder.... "how anyone can find him (Hole) attractive ...." w/ the booze and cigs, etc.
I have enjoyed seeing how his relationship w/ Raquel (sp?) has developed over the course of many books and a rocky road it has been because of, especially, his drinking. I think that at his core, even though flawed, he is such a good man, covering up a lot of baggage. She sees that in him e.g. his caring relationship w/ his impaired sister, his caring relationship w/ her son, and , in his own way, his loving relationship w/ her. Harry's police work has put a damper on their relationship for years and it's on and off again but.... there is much there that she finds irrestible, as do I. Perhaps , for me, it's more his mind which simply amazes me.

What are your thoughts about what is attractive about Harry Hole??


message 32: by Cher (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cher Betsy wrote: "Would you like Nesbo to write more stand alone books like THE SON or are you anxious for another Harry Hole book? Do you prefer one over the other?"

I love the Harry Hole series and confess to missing Harry at the start of this book. However, it seemed that Nesbo concluded The Son by setting up the clever Kari Adel to return as a future series regular. I can also imagine an adult Markus reappearing in Nesbo's world as a twisted, idealistic crusader or an idealistic and twisted killer, either way. Either way, I'll look forward to reading!


Mary Beth Wells I could not put this book down! I liked that Nesbo broke from the Harry Hole character. Loved Sonny. Brilliant and looking forward to Nesbo's next


message 34: by Guin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guin Betsy wrote: "Help me here: a boy, now a 30 year old man, in prison for 12 years who doesn't know how to use a mobile phone, etc. YET .... knows all about how to destroy every piece of evidence that would link..."

His father was a police.


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