Book Review: 'Blood on Snow'

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jo Nesbo. Translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith. Knopf, 224 pp. $23.95

Earlier this year I read ― and quickly became obsessed with ― the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. I've noticed over the last few years that thriller and crime novels are significantly better from European authors.

Jo Nesbo is an author who has gained more popularity in the United States since Larsson's books were published in the United States. And, after reading "Blood on Snow," it's not hard to see why.

Stand-alone from the New York Times-bestselling Harry Hole series, "Blood on Snow" examines the loyalty of a hired hitman when his own heart gets in the way of a job.

Olav is a pretty successful contract killer, and was a regular call from Daniel Hoffman. But one day Hoffman calls with the request that Olav "fix" his wife.

Hoffman's wife is, as it turns out, Olav's perfect woman. He's put in a bind ― does he "fix" the woman of his dreams, or does he betray his loyal employer?

This book is relatively short, at 224 pages, but is not lacking in story. It's told in first person from Olav's perspective, which gives an intimate and poetic quality to the story as a whole. Nesbo's plot is very straightforward, which I found very refreshing to read. The book nerd in me liked that I could easily determine the plot structure from reading it.

"Blood on Snow" was originally published, in Swedish, under the pen name Tom Johansen. Two more books, "More Blood on the Water" and "The Kidnapping" were published under the Johansen name also, in the original language. "Blood on Snow" was also recently purchased by Warner Brothers to be made into a film.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: