This is book one of the Blood on Snow series.
So, I rather liken this book to The Cleaner in the sense that the main character is a killer, and we are, somehow, I do not know how, we are supposed to feel sorry for the guy when things don't work out well. I am not a fan. I rather like Nesbø's Harry Hole series, so I thought I'd give this one a try.
We have Olav Johansen, who is a fixer. He fixes the problems of, read: murders people for, the local top pimp and heroin kingpin, who is in a turf war with another heroin kingpin, I mean crime boss.
The crime boss Daniel Hoffmann contracts Olav to kill his wife, Corina, whom Hoffmann suspects of adultery. Turns out, Corina's lover does exist, and is more than a bit of an asshole. So, Olav kills the lover instead.
Apparently, fixers aren't supposed to think. Instead, they are supposed to just follow through on orders.
What makes the tale interesting is that the narrator, Olav, is actually thoroughly delusional. The story we read might be the his story, but might not be, we don't know. That not knowing is what makes this book more interesting than seen at first view.
That said, while I like the writing, I'm not a fan of the premise.
If you're a fan of Nesbø, sure, read the book. If not, eh, skip.
The way Maria was in love with her junkie boyfriend. Some women don’t know what’s best for them, they just leak love without demanding anything in return. It’s almost as if the very lack of any reciprocation just makes them worse. I suppose they’re hoping they’ll be rewarded one day, poor things. Hopeful, hopeless infatuation. Someone ought to tell them that isn’t how the world works.
“What do you want to do, Olav?”
I got up from the kitchen chair. “See if I can find you a blanket.”
“I mean, what are we going to do?”
She was okay. You know someone’s okay if they can ignore things they can’t do anything about and move on. Wish I was like that.
“You haven’t asked,” she said in the darkness.
“No,” I said.
“I suppose I’m just not a very inquisitive person.”
“But you must be wondering. Father and son…”
“I assumed you’d tell me whatever you felt like telling me when you felt like it.”
The bed creaked as Corina turned towards me. “What if I never said anything?”
“Then I’d never find out.”
I was walking across the frozen path with short, quick steps, my knees slightly bent. That’s something you learn as a child in Norway.
She helped me off with it, then ran her fingers over the bruises left by the Dane’s bullets. Loving. Fascinated. Kissed them. And as I lay in bed and felt the shakes come, and she wrapped the duvet around me, I felt just like before when I lay in Mum’s bed. It almost didn’t hurt any more. And it felt as if I could escape it all, but it wasn’t up to me; I was a boat on a river, and the river was in charge. My fate, my destination was already determined. Which just left the journey, the time it took and the things you saw and experienced along the way. Life seems simple when you’re sufficiently ill.