This prolific Norwegian thriller writer is better known for his bestselling Harry Hole series which continue to grip his myriad fans across the globe. I am one such, and have reviewed several in the Writer’s Workshop review blog, Book Post Mortem’s parent, MEAN STREETS (www.writersworkshop.co.uk/crimefiction)
Midnight Sun is a stand alone novel, in some ways even more enjoyable because it is free of the shackles that bind a series together.
A petty drug dealer flees the city of Oslo, attempting to avoid the grip of his ruthless drug boss, known as the Fisherman. He has not only failed to liquidate a supplier who has doublecrossed the Fisherman, he has run away with the money owed. Money he needed in the forlorn hope of saving his daughter’s cancer-ridden life. That scheme fails, too, and you never, never doublecross the Fisherman, for he will find you, wherever you may hide.
Which is not to say that that you cannot attempt to do so, even if you know you are a failure. Ulf, or whatever his name is, flees to the land of the midnight sun, an isolated corner of Norway where he finds himself in a village where a religious sect live out their harsh, basic lives to strict god-fearing laws. Offered the use of a hunter’s cabin, he retreats into the wilderness, toting the rifle loaned to him by the preacher’s daughter.
But the Fisherman’s killers are on their way, and there are those who might give them direction to the cabin, for a price.
This is so much more than a crime novel. It is the story of a failure who may continue to fail, but learns that maybe it might be possible to succeed, if he keeps trying. It is an atheist’s acceptance of a Nothing being stirred by the possibility of a Something. And it is also a love story of great poetry, if only our Ulf can survive long enough.
Thank you to PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE SOUTH AFRICA for this review copy.