My first experience with Jo Nesbo came about two years ago when I received his first Harry Hole novel, The Bat, as a gift. Honestly, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I found that the story was all over the map like a dysfunctional GPS. However, when I heard he had recently released a stand-alone thriller*, I thought I would give him another shot. I’m glad I did.
Blood on Snow tells the story of Olav, a “fixer” for a heroin dealer in Olso. When a job goes awry, Olav becomes his boss’ target. Reaching out to his boss’ competitor, Olav sets out to “fix” his former employer before fleeing Norway forever.
While I usually love stories that meander, sometimes a straightforward story with a simple plot can get the job done just as well, as long as the writing does its job in sustaining my interest, which Nesbo does in spades here when it comes to the novel’s protagonist and narrator, Olav.
Nesbo’s Olav is a simple man who longs for companionship but due to the nature of his work, is unable to form a substantial relationship with anyone. Throughout the course of the story, you learn of his troubled childhood, his battle with dyslexia accompanied by a limited education; effectively endearing him to the reader. He’s a very sympathetic killer – a man whom the system has seemingly failed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he spends the whole two hundred pages whining and playing the poor me card, but you definitely feel like he deserves better.
Blood on Snow has inadvertently motivated me to revisit Nesbo’s signature Harry Hole series. I’ve got to assume the series gets better as evidenced by how much I enjoyed this quick read.
The novel is no longer a stand-alone as a sequel entitled “The Midnight Sun” is currently being written.