MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbø
CBTB Rating: 5/5
I've had some pretty amazing opportunities in the few short months that I’ve had this blog, and I have to say, getting to read and review an advanced copy of my favorite author’s newest novel has quite nearly topped them all. Jo Nesbø’s MIDNIGHT SUN releases February 2016 from Knopf, and I was fortunate enough to receive a galley from the publisher.
MIDNIGHT SUN is the sequel to Nesbø’s BLOOD ON SNOW, a story distinct from his Harry Hole series (which I’ve gushed about endlessly on CBTB). BLOOD ON SNOW was one of my favorite novels of 2015. We already knew Nesbø as a master of crime fiction; BLOOD ON SNOW and MIDNIGHT SUN prove him to be a master of writing surprisingly delicate, emotionally-charged fiction as well.
Picking up on the themes present in BLOOD ON SNOW, MIDNIGHT SUN follows a man who calls himself Ulf—a hitman fleeing a vindictive crime lord who finds himself lost above the Arctic Circle, seeking refuge in a remote village.
MIDNIGHT SUN is part noir crime fiction: the story showcases Nesbø at his best, telling a story of crime and revenge, complete with suspense and mild violence. But MIDNIGHT SUN is also a character study, following an unlikely criminal who finds greater purpose, grace, and forgiveness in an unlikely place.
I adored this story. I have always loved how much emotion and care Nesbø puts into each of his characters—a trait evident in his Harry Hole series, it is brought to the forefront in this short, powerful book. Like Harry Hole, MIDNIGHT SUN’s Ulf is a troubled man struggling against the weight of his personal sins. Nesbø puts his characters through hell and back on their respective journeys, and for Harry Hole, the moments of respite from his struggle are few and far between. Without spoiling this story’s resolution, I will say that I was shocked by MIDNIGHT SUN’S ending. This book showcases Nesbø’s storytelling ability in a whole new light—he writes with a thoughtfulness and delicacy that tugged at my heart.
MIDNIGHT SUN is quite simply a beautiful, emotional short story of transformation and redemption. More than a crime novel, this is a story about an average man’s journey into the darkness within himself, and the people who pulled him out.
MIDNIGHT SUN releases February 16, 2016—mark your calendars. A huge thank you to the kind folks at Alfred A. Knopf for the advanced copy!