After crossing Oslo’s drug kingpin The Fisherman, low-level thug Jon flees to a tiny mountain town a stone’s throw from the North Pole. Careful not to get too comfortable as his enemies are just over the horizon, Jon takes up the temporary alias of “Ulf”, a hunter from the city, and befriends a single mother, Lea, and her young son, Knut.
Already suffering from a drug-deprived insomnia, Jon underestimated just how difficult it would be to live where the sun never sets. Coupled with intense paranoia surrounding the arrival of his would-be assassin, Jon’s sanity begins to unravel in the face of his mortality and the safety of those he has grown to love.
Midnight Sun is the sort-of-sequel to 2014’s Blood on Snow. While we’re following a different character, the plot remains similar in so much as we have a rogue employee on the run from his vengeful boss. Although the original was planned as a stand-alone, Nesbo clearly loved playing around in a world uninhabited by his signature character Harry Hole and decided to continue following the exploits of The Fisherman, a Scandinavian crime-lord and his disobedient staff.
In keeping the timeline rooted in the 1970s, Nesbo doesn’t have to bother with cell phones, computers or any “new” technology keeping the plot pretty bare-bones, giving him more time to spend inside the character’s head as he waxes philosophical on life, depression and music.
Midnight Sun, while not exactly a fresh and exciting presentation, is still a solid read. It’s a little old-school crime fiction that hardboiled readers should be able to blow through in an afternoon.