Blood On Snow by Jo Nesbo

Blood On Snow by Jo Nesbo
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Olav is a fixer for a high-profile crime kingpin in 1970s Oslo. He easily takes care of anyone who causes trouble for his boss. But he is more complicated than he seems. Olav’s latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, but it may become his greatest mistake: It turns out that the more you know about your boss’s business, the more your boss might want you fixed yourself—especially if you’re falling for his wife.

Olav lives a solitary life as the “fixer” for one of the two main heroin drug lords in Oslo, Norway. He’s used to fixing the problems of his boss, but suddenly he’s given a problem he can’t bring himself to fix. Olav is hired to kill his boss’s wife. Olav finds his problems quickly spiraling and all too soon his solitary life is quite crammed with people – most of them his enemies.

I really enjoy Scandinavian noir books, and this one was no exception. Jo Nesbo (and Scandi noir in general, in my opinion) is a somewhat acquired taste. I personally feel most of the writing styles of the Scandinavian authors is slightly different to UK and US authors – usually a bit grittier and more bare in style, but also a lot of the themes and cultural aspects are somewhat different too. This all adds up to mean I fully recognize frequently Scandinavian written books – especially noir style stories – are not to everyone’s taste. This book most certainly falls into that category.

Readers looking for a different sort of thriller, or assassin book, or even a gritter style of mystery should definitely find this fits the bill. I thoroughly enjoyed Nesbo’s writing and Olav’s voice, finding it different and more hard boiled than I’m used to, but I also really enjoyed how despite the cleaner style of writing there were ample twists to the plot and quite a few curves I personally didn’t see coming. I found my attention quite riveted to Olav and his story and even as I was trying to guess exactly what was going on I was drawn deeper into the mess he found himself in.

Readers should also be quite aware that this story does not have a traditional ending. I personally found it interesting and thought-provoking, but readers expecting a certain style of conclusion might not find this suits their tastes or needs. That said, I found the whole book really interesting and with enough plot and twists to easily capture my attention. I was happy with this quick read and enjoyed all the differences from the more normal mysteries out there on the market.

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