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Blood on Snow
Cover of Blood on Snow
Blood on Snow
A novel
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From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels—a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract...
From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels—a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract...
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Description-

  • From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels—a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract killer who draws us into an unexpected meditation on death and love.

    This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake. . . .
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    Chapter 1

    The snow was dancing like cotton wool in the light of the street lamps. Aimlessly, unable to decide whether it wanted to fall up or down, just letting itself be driven by the hellish, ice-cold wind that was sweeping in from the great darkness covering the Oslo fjord. Together they swirled, wind and snow, round and round in the darkness between the warehouses on the quayside that were all shut for the night. Until the wind got fed up and dumped its dance partner beside the wall. And there the dry, windswept snow was settling around the shoes of the man I had just shot in the chest and neck.

    Blood was dripping down onto the snow from the bottom of his shirt. I don't actually know a lot about snow—or much else, for that matter—but I've read that snow crystals formed when it's really cold are completely different from wet snow, heavy flakes, or the crunchy stuff. That it's the shape of the crystals and the dryness of the snow that make the haemoglobin in the blood retain that deep red colour. Either way, the snow under him made me think of a king's robe, all purple and lined with ermine, like the drawings in the book of Norwegian folk tales my mother used to read to me. She liked fairy tales and kings. That's probably why she named me after a king.

    The Evening Post had said that if the cold carried on like this until New Year, 1977 would be the coldest year since the war, and that we'd remember it as the start of the new ice age scientists had been predicting for a while. But what did I know? All I knew was that the man standing in front of me would soon be dead. There was no mistaking the way his body was shaking. He was one of the Fisherman's men. It was nothing personal. I told him as much before he collapsed, leaving a smear of blood down the wall. If I ever get shot, I'd rather it was personal. I didn't say it to stop his ghost coming after me—I don't believe in ghosts. I just couldn't think of anything else to say. Obviously I could have just kept my mouth shut. That's what I usually do, after all. So there must have been something that made me so talkative all of a sudden. Maybe it was because there were only a few days to go before Christmas. I've heard that people are supposed to feel closer to each other around Christmas. But what do I know?

    I thought the blood would freeze on top of the snow and end up just lying there. But instead the snow sucked the blood up as it fell, drawing it in under the surface, hiding it, as if it had some sort of use for it. As I walked home I imagined a snowman rising up from the snowdrift, one with clearly visible veins of blood under its deathly pale skin of ice.

    On the way back to my flat I called Daniel Hoffmann from a phone box to tell him the job was done.

    Hoffmann said that was good. As usual, he didn't ask any questions. Either he'd learned to trust me in the course of the four years I'd been working as a fixer for him, or else he didn't actually want to know. The job was done, so why would a man like him trouble himself with that sort of thing when what he was paying for was to have fewer problems? Hoffmann asked me to go down to the office the next day—he said he had a new job for me.

    "A new job?" I asked, feeling my heart skip a beat.

    "Yes," Hoffmann said. "As in a new commission."

    "Oh, okay."

    I hung up, relieved. I don't really do much more than commissions. I can't actually be used for much more than that.

    Here are four things I can't be used for. Driving a getaway car. I can drive fast, that's fine. But I can't drive inconspicuously,...

About the Author-

  • JO NESBO is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Snowman, The Leopard, and Phantom and he is the author of several stand-alone novels, including The Son, as well as the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel.
     
    www.jonesbo.com

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 16, 2015
    Olav—a hit man, or “fixer”—narrates this thin standalone from Nesbø (The Son) set in 1970s Oslo. His boss, drug kingpin Daniel Hoffmann, has an unusual assignment for Olav: “He wanted me to fix his wife.” Olav sets up surveillance on the beautiful Corina Hoffman from a hotel across the street and watches her let a man into the apartment. It’s someone she clearly knows, but the man’s first action is to strike her, then he sleeps with her, and Olav figures she’s being blackmailed. Olav, whose sympathies shift to Corina, hopes to save her and double-cross his boss in a plot reminiscent of a 1940s American noir novel. A damaged loner, Olav is full of contradictions, but he’s more intelligent and emotional than he’ll admit, which gives the book a bit of humanity and humor. Nesbø fans will enjoy this slender story, though newcomers may find it altogether too macabre. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden).

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 27, 2015
    Nesbø, the leading light of Norwegian noir, returns with this slim standalone thriller about a hit man with a heart of gold. Olav is a contract killer in 1970s Oslo, working for a ruthless drug kingpin named Daniel Hoffman. Hoffman orders Olav to kill Hoffman's own wife, Corina, whom he believes is having an affair. But, this being a Nesbø novel, things aren't as they seem, and Olav makes a snap decision that saves Corina, but places himself in danger and leads to a showdown with Hoffman. American singer-songwriter Smith is an odd choice as reader: the book is translated into colloquial British English, told from the first-person perspective of Olav. But Smith's affectless American drawl manages to somehow convey the deep humanity of an antihero who comes up short in the empathy department. At a trim four hours, this audio edition is a bit of a departure for Nesbø, whose novels tend to be two or three times as long (at least), but there's plenty of blood and snow to go around. A Knopf hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine In a somewhat questionable casting choice, rocker Patti Smith narrates Jo Nesb¿'s stand-alone thriller. The first- person narrator of the novel is Olav, a male killer for hire. While Smith attempts to take on a more masculine persona, the gender of the antihero is, at best, ambiguous as the story opens even though no indicators point to such vagueness as Nesb¿'s intention. In addition, Smith reads in a numbing monotone, stripping Olav's character of any emotion. This contradicts Nesb¿'s storyline in which Olav is overwhelmed by emotions he's unaccustomed to. If anything, this approach creates an aural spoiler. This title is an outstanding addition to Nesb¿'s work, but Smith's interpretation does it no justice. J.F. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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