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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nordic Noire
Cracker-jack fast paced thriller from the master of Norwegian crime.
Sonny Lofthus, son of a disgraced policeman who committed suicide, has happily sat in prison for others crimes in return for the endless supply of heroin that dampens the pain of his existence. Until he learns that the truth surrounding his father's death may all have been a lie. Breaking out Sonny...
Published 8 months ago by stuart

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars three and a half stars
A good read and a page turner.

It concerns a heroin addict who has been in jail for twelve years and escapes to avenge his father's death. However, despite having been incarcerated since being a teenager, upon escaping he becomes a ninja-esque James Bond character who can outwit the police and seasoned gangsters. A little far-fetched methinks. Also, doesn't...
Published 8 months ago by seeker


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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nordic Noire, 10 April 2014
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
Cracker-jack fast paced thriller from the master of Norwegian crime.
Sonny Lofthus, son of a disgraced policeman who committed suicide, has happily sat in prison for others crimes in return for the endless supply of heroin that dampens the pain of his existence. Until he learns that the truth surrounding his father's death may all have been a lie. Breaking out Sonny is soon creating a trail of havoc and terrible destruction in his quest for answers and revenge.
Simon Kefas, the long serving police officer and old friend of his father, hot on his trail seems to be the only one with a chance of stopping Sonny and bringing him in alive but with Nesbo things are never that simple. It's only April and this could already be my book of the year. A great read.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping new thriller, 10 April 2014
By 
Macey89 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
When Sonny was a teenager, his father took his own life. His suicide note revealed that he was a mole in the Oslo police force, passing information to the mysterious and shadowy figure of the Twin, a dangerous criminal with a network of resources at his disposal. This shattering revelation set his family on a path of destruction and ruin.

Now a heroin addict, Sonny has been in prison for 12 years. Since his incarceration, he's gained an almost mythical status amongst his fellow inmates as a receiver of confessions and a cleanser of souls. But when one of these confessions strikes particularly close to home, it throws everything that Sonny has ever believed about his father's death into question.

Homicide Inspector Simon Kefas was once Sonny's father best friend. On the surface, his current cases are random acts of violence, driven by petty theft or drugs. But as Simon investigates, he begins to suspect that the perpetrator is driven by a much more powerful motive. And he isn't finished. When the crimes of the present become caught up with the ghosts of the past, Simon may be the only one that can help Sonny to uncover the truth he needs.

`The Son' is filled with a whole cast of unsavoury and untrustworthy characters and layer upon layer of deceit. But somehow, Jo Nesbo manages to turn our perceptions of good and bad completely on their head, as the lines between justice and law and right and wrong become increasingly blurred.

This theme of vengeance, retribution and justice is constantly present throughout the book. People can never truly seem to escape the sins of their past, and we're start to question whether they should. And if they deserve to be punished, what should we think of the person doing the punishing? In fact, there's a general sense throughout the book that sometimes, crimes can be are both justified and inevitable.

By contrast, the law is presented as increasingly untrustworthy, with prison governors and police officers under the pay of crime lords. I know that a corrupt police force isn't anything new in this genre, but in this case I was literally left questioning the motives of every single character that crossed the page.

`The Son' is packed full of action, with multiple crime scenes and twist after twist - swiftly followed by another twist! As a reader, we're thrown from one situation to another, keeping up a relentless pace that culminates in a dramatic and explosive conclusion. Almost everyone we come across has their own agenda - having either committed some kind of crime, made an enemy of someone or joined a clandestine alliance of some sort.

This kind of plot device worked well in terms of making it harder for me to predict what was coming next, but there were also a lot of characters to remember and keep track of. This had the effect of being quite confusing. On top of that, we're also left almost entirely to our own devices to put together clues and work out people's motives. At one point, I was left totally clueless as to how events had got to a certain point, but just had to carry on reading, hoping that the author would eventually explain everything. Luckily everything became clear in the end, but I did feel a bit lost at some points.

That said, I really enjoyed it. It got to the point when I was actually glad when my train got delayed because I literally could not put it down!
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Son, 10 April 2014
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
Jo Nesbo, author of the incredibly successful Harry Hole series, has written a fast paced and exciting stand alone thriller in “The Son.” Sonny Lofthus is a model prisoner at an Oslo jail. In prison for twelve years since the age of eighteen (for crimes he did not commit, but confesses to in return for a constant supply of drugs) , he is a mysterious and charismatic figure. Seen as a healer and a confessor, the other prisoners go to him for absolution of their sins. As a child, Sonny idolised his father, Ab Lofthus, a police officer who he believed committed suicide after admitting to charges of corruption. However, one of the prisoners then makes a confession that changes Sonny’s future forever, when he admits that his father was murdered. Now Sonny, a man who has never lived on the outside since he was a child, an addict and a scapegoat, is out for vengeance.

This is not a short read and it is also a book that you need to concentrate on, with plot twists and turns and a whole host of characters. The main storyline concerns Sonny and his desire for justice and the man who was his father’s best friend – Simon Kefas. Kefas was a dedicated police officer, whose career ground to a halt after his investigation into fraud and corruption saw him disgraced as a gambler. Now a changed man, his only wish is to save the eyesight of his beloved wife, and somehow make amends to her. Along with his new young partner, he is called to investigate the death of the prison chaplain, which then leads him headlong into the search for his friend’s son.

If you want a real roller coaster of a ride, this thriller will give it to you. It is extremely violent, but then that is to be expected from Mr Nesbo. This is really gritty noir. There are gangsters, an awful lot of murders, brutality, drugs, corruption and characters that you will really care about. Sonny is the main character in the novel and he is an odd mix of innocence and single mindedness. Along the way he will inspire all sorts of emotions, including love and gratitude; yet his killing spree drives the book forward. At the end of this novel you cannot fail to be impressed by Jo Nesbo’s ability to write thrillers like nobody else – these are not pulp trash, despite the amount of violence, but peopled with excellent characters and a really exciting plot. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of Nesbo's best to me, 10 April 2014
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
A great and rather eerie start - in prison a junkie, who is barely on this planet, who has healing hands and gives blessings and a priest who is quite the opposite. And the junkie's father was an Oslo police officer who committed suicide because he was corrupt. I was hooked and the scene is set one of the best books I've read recently. There is fluency in the writing as always - the quality of it stands out for me over many other current crime thriller writers. You realise that a really good writer can convey more in a sentence than other writers in a paragraph and make that a great read - real talent. Certainly the power of creating a scene with simple words plays out quite often and with very varied emotions generated. At times humourous (bleakly so sometime), at times very violent, we enter the world of corruption and organised crime.

So in addition to the junkie, we have a policeman who knew the junkie's father and the policeman has some issues of his own which is not surprising given Harry Hole's character. I really liked the character of Simon Kefas (the policeman) as well as his sidekick. However I find that I am no fan of reviews that give too much away so I'll leave you to discover the storylines that evolve from this setting for yourself. Unsurprisingly there is definitely a "dark avenger" theme here and the twists when they come are interesting even if some of them were maybe not unexpected. So often you read a very good book but the ending lets it down - not so here, the final scenes were very good indeed and the final twist I did not expect. I certainly didn't expect to say that I think this is better than the majority of the Harry Hole stories either. I enjoyed the "philosophy of man and his condition" at the end too. One of those books I really didn't want to end in part because I had some suspicions of what that end might be.

As a big fan of Jo Nesbo's writing I would suggest that this will be a "must have" book for Harry Hole fans and would be a great introduction to Jo Nesbo's work for fans of dark crime thrillers. I'd love to see another story developing some of the main characters in this - it might be possible, I'll keep my fingers crossed. Whatever else I'll certainly look forward to reading the next Jo Nesbo.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first five star review!!, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
Having been a great fan for some time of Nesbo' s Harry Hole series I was looking forward to this but found it almost impossible to get started for some reason.
Eventually after much persistence it suddenly clicked into place. The result was to find this was even better than the earlier Hole books.
Slightly worrying to find I was concerned about the outcome for a mass murdering drug addict but I found the main character very sympathetic. ,Very well paced with plenty of twists and suspense this was exactly what I look forward to
in a thriller.
Thouroughly recommend
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
Followed all of the twists and turns of this amazing novel, but failed to see the final twist in Kefas journey. On a par with Harry Hole!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars three and a half stars, 21 April 2014
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
A good read and a page turner.

It concerns a heroin addict who has been in jail for twelve years and escapes to avenge his father's death. However, despite having been incarcerated since being a teenager, upon escaping he becomes a ninja-esque James Bond character who can outwit the police and seasoned gangsters. A little far-fetched methinks. Also, doesn't have the dark humour of Harry Hole.

Still, a reasonable read, especially if you need a fix of Nordic Noir.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Son - Jo Nesbo, 15 May 2014
This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
“People called the boy Sonny and said that he had killed two people as a teenager, that his father had been a corrupt police officer and that Sonny had healing hands “

And so this is how we meet Sonny, a heroin addict, jailed in the Staten prison. He’s in prison because he’s admitted to killing two people. Staten Prison is the brainchild of Arild Franck, the ruthless Assistant Prison Governor.

Sonny hears from a fellow prisoner that his father’s supposed suicide was in fact, a murder and this drives him to escape and take justice into his own hands.

Chief Inspector Simon Kefas is assigned a new partner Kari Adel, a young female detective, transferred from the drug squad to homicide. She has not even managed to settle in to the team, when they are called out to the murder of Agnete Iversen in Holmenkollåsen, a very wealthy suburb of Oslo. This is the first murder that will link back to the “suicide” of Ab Lofthus,

I have followed Jo Nesbo through all the Harry Hole books. He creates people who are real and people you can relate to. However, in this book he seems to have taken his writing to a new place. A deeper more intense space where you find yourself thinking “Come on Sonny I’m right behind you (almost condoning) your actions to uncover the despicable world of crime, trafficking, drug smuggling and the complete lack of humanity towards those involved”. I had to read this book slowly, because I wanted it to touch me on all levels. The descriptions that Jo Nesbo uses, the depth of feeling that the characters have and just the fact that sometimes justice of a different kind has to be meted out.

Jo Nesbo – thank you for this excellent book.

5 Stars - Treebeard
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He's so much better than this ..., 24 July 2014
By 
comm88 "comm88" (Chester, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
Mmm, it's okay, but nothing more, I'm afraid. Read all of his stuff and loved so much of it - but not this. Harry Hole is a wkd character, but this felt artfully contrived and somehow very plasticky. I didn't warm to the plot, or the central characters and I really didn't like the ending. It just didn't add up to anything that had gone before and really made rather a nonsense of much of it. Just blandly uninspiring as a story, but, as always with Jo Nesbo, capably and skilfully crafted. I wanted more and left feeling let down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good as always, perhaps even better, 27 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
Jo Nesbo manages to give another fast-paced book, with the streets of Oslo he knows so well as the background. As in the Harry Hole series, the melancholic attitudes of the characters mark the story, with many regrets and secrets that slowly unveil to show us their real intentions.

However, I might say that this book has Jo Nesbo's clear features but it is less intrincate and twisted than his other last books. Although at the beginning the murders seem to have no connection besides the killer, we know what is his motivation: avenging the death of his father. The intentions of the characters are more clear, there are less awkward heart-stopping twists than in the last books of the Harry Hole series, but this doesn't make it less enjoyable, actually the opposite. Nesbo seems very comfortable beyond the Harry Hole series, with the same background, but new personalities, different attitudes and motives.

Another of his permanent features is that he always manages to include some cultural references, good to keep your eyes peeled.

Highly recommended, especially the Nesbo fans won't be disappointed.
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