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The Son

Cover of The Son

The Son

A novel
by Jo Nesbo
The author of the best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set inside Oslo's maze of especially venal, high-level corruption. Sonny Lofthus is a strangely...More
The author of the best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set inside Oslo's maze of especially venal, high-level corruption. Sonny Lofthus is a strangely...More
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Description-
  • The author of the best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set inside Oslo's maze of especially venal, high-level corruption.

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny's been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don't know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit--or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he's serving time for other peoples' crimes.

    Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest--all of them focused on keeping him high and in jail. And all of them under the thumb of the Twin, Oslo's crime overlord. As long as Sonny gets his dope, he's happy to play the criminal and the prison's in-house savior.

    But when he learns a stunning, long-hidden secret concerning his father, he makes a brilliantly executed escape from prison--and from the person he'd let himself become--and begins hunting down those responsible for the crimes against him . . . The darkly looming question is: Who will get to him first--the criminals or the cops?

    From the Hardcover edition.

 
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Rover kept his eyes on the white-painted concrete floor in the eleven-square-metre prison cell. He bit down on the slightly too long gold front tooth in his lower jaw. He had reached the hardest part of his confession. The only sound in the cell was his nails scratching the madonna tattoo on his forearm. The boy sitting cross-legged on the bed opposite him had remained silent ever since Rover had entered. He had merely nodded and smiled his blissful Buddha smile, his gaze fixed at a point on Rover's forehead. People called the boy Sonny and said that he had killed two people as a teenager, that his father had been a corrupt police officer and that Sonny had healing hands. It was hard to see if the boy was listening--his green eyes and most of his face were hidden behind his long, matted hair--but that didn't matter. Rover just wanted his sins forgiven and to receive Sonny's distinctive blessing so that tomorrow he could walk out of Staten Maximum Security Prison with the feeling of being a truly cleansed man. Not that Rover was religious, but it could do no harm when he intended to change, to give going straight a real try. Rover took a deep breath.

    "I think she was from Belarus. Minsk is in Belarus, isn't it?" Rover looked up quickly, but the boy made no reply. "Nestor had nicknamed her Minsk," Rover said. "He told me to shoot her."

    The obvious advantage of confessing to someone whose brain was fried was that no name and incident would stick; it was like talking to yourself. This might explain why inmates at Staten preferred this guy to the chaplain or the psychologist.

    "Nestor kept her and eight other girls in a cage down in Enerhaugen. East Europeans and Asians. Young. Teenagers. At least I hope they were as old as that. But Minsk was older. Stronger. She escaped. Got as far as Tøyen Park before Nestor's dog caught her. One of those Argentine mastiffs--know what I'm talking about?"

    The boy's eyes never moved, but he raised his hand. Found his beard. He started to comb it slowly with his fingers. The sleeve of his filthy, oversized shirt slipped down and revealed scabs and needle marks. Rover went on.

    "Bloody big albino dogs. Kills anything its owner points at. And quite a lot he doesn't. Banned in Norway, 'course. A guy out in Rælengen got some from the Czech Republic, breeds them and registers them as white boxers. Me and Nestor went there to buy one when it was a pup. It cost more than fifty grand in cash. The puppy was so cute you wouldn't ever think it . . ." Rover stopped. He knew he was only talking about the dog to put off the inevitable. "Anyway . . ."

    Anyway. Rover looked at the tattoo on his other forearm. A cathedral with two spires. One for each sentence he had served, neither of which had anything to do with today's confession. He used to supply guns to a biker gang and modify some of them in his workshop. He was good at it. Too good. So good that he couldn't remain below the radar forever and he was caught. And so good that, while serving his first sentence, Nestor had taken him under his wing. Nestor had made sure he owned him so that from then on only Nestor would get his hands on the best guns, rather than the biker gang or any other rivals. He had paid him more for a few months' work than Rover could ever hope to earn in a lifetime in his workshop fixing motorbikes. But Nestor had demanded a lot in return. Too much.

    "She was lying in the bushes, blood everywhere. She just lay there, dead still, staring up at us. The dog had taken a chunk out of her face--you could see straight to the teeth." Rover grimaced. Get to the point. "Nestor said it was time to teach them a lesson, show the other girls...

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

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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