Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Son

The Son
Jo Nesbo
Translator - Charlotte Barslund
Alfred A. Knopf
Random House
New York, New York
ISBN: 978-0-385-35138-6
$ 25.95
402 pages

Can a confession without evidence convict someone of murder?
Sonny Lofthus is in prison in Norway for committing two murders.  Naturally many felons continually profess their own innocence but how often do other convicts believe in another inmate's innocence?
For Sonny, this unique situation of respect also appears to have given him healing hands capable of mending the broken souls of these imprisoned souls.  The cost of this service is to keep him supplied with enough heroin so that he stays high.  Yes within prison walls, all the inmates and the staff manage to keep Sonny content.
However, Sonny really is innocent of these two murders.  Was his confession years ago worth the way he lives now?
Sonny's father as a policeman, appeared to be deeply involved in corruption.  He killed himself, or did he?  With new information, he questions the truth about his father.  Was he set up?
He realizes that within the prison walls, he cannot discover the truth.  With help, Sonny manages to successfully escape.   On a personal quest to exonerate his father and to discover the truth, Sonny needs to stay ahead of law enforcement and those you do not want their secrets revealed.
The Son is an unusual mystery separating the law from justice.   What is right when the law is mistaken or corrupt?     
From the law enforcement perspective, Chief Inspector Simon Kefas with a new inexperienced partner are investigating a murder and the likely suspect is Sonny.  What isn't clear is how Sonny is somehow connected to the death.   Could he be innocent and because he is escaped, he is just the most likely suspect?  Simon, coincidentally was the partner of Sonny's father, Ab.  A part of Simon wants to save Sonny while also he realizes his commitment to enforce the law.
Added to Simon's conflict, is the personal problem of his wife going blind.   As an addicted gambler, there is no money that  creating is needed for her to travel to the States for surgery to save her sight.   When money is offered, can he accept it to save his wife and what is expected of him in return?
The Son is a standalone novel and is not in the Harry Hole series.  As with Nesbo's other books, this book was originally written in Norwegian and then translated into English and whether it is the writing or the translating, The Son is an enticing and enthralling tale that is graphically violent, although not as dark as Nesbo's other novels. What is unique about The Son is the internal conflicts of each character and each other creating fluctuating between being protagonists and antagonists.
Viewing the escaped murderer who seeks justice and truth creates hope in this conflicted tale.
The author, Jo Nesbo resides in Norway working as a songwriter, musician, economist as well as the award winning author for the Glass Key which is given for the best Nordic crime novel.
For a different type of mystery with realistically human characters, read The Son.

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