FICTION

Midnight Sun

Knopf. Feb. 2016. 288p. tr. from Norwegian by Neil Smith. ISBN 9780385354202. $23.95; ebk. ISBN 9780804172585. F
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Nesbø quickly follows up his stand-alone novel Blood on Snow with a second short book in this new series. Jon is on the run from his boss, a powerful crime lord called the Fisherman, not only because he faked killing a man who stole from the Fisherman but also, albeit for an altruistic purpose, he took the money the supposed dead man had stolen. Now calling himself Ulf, Jon flees north to Norway's isolated and underpopulated Arctic Circle, where time seems to have stopped. Desperate for a place to hide, he accepts help from the quirky citizens, first from a nine-year-old boy and his mother, then a local shopkeeper. In perpetual fear of being caught by the Fisherman's henchmen, Ulf soon worries about the lives of those who are aiding him.
VERDICT Nesbø delivers a tale of hope and redemption in this brief story of a man who blunders into a life of crime and then tries to extricate himself with a minimum of damage to those around him. Although this is unlike the author's gritty "Harry Hole" stories, it is wholeheartedly recommended for Nesbø fans and readers who enjoy strong character development. [See Prepub Alert, 8/17/15.]

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