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Keeping Faith Under A Sparkless Everlasting Sun

You start searching for a hidden twist because Jo Nesbo cannot be such plain and second-rate. Dumping Harry Hole and starting his standalones with Blood on Snow as the first, he continues with Midnight Sun, which disappoints the readers like an expensive chocolate bar when after tossing down the wrap paper you find just a cheap mint candy instead.

There should be a plan Jo Nesbo follows, or otherwise it means the writer has chosen the simplest way after his glorious worldwide success brought by an inimitable Harry Hole who is going to hit the screens soon.

You cannot deny Nesbo‘s easy reading style underlined by his catching and accurate descriptions, felicitous dialogues and in-depth knowledge of the subject, however, the plot is cursory, unoriginal and trite. It‘s still a page-turner but initiated by inertia and not a spark.

The plot takes place in the same 70s, as in Blood on Snow. It is the same criminal world in Oslo and the same boss Fisherman to whom Ove from the previous novel had turned for help in his troubles. This time we meet a hitman who actually isn‘t a hitman at all (he hasn‘t killed anyone yet, though his boss thinks otherwise) who is running as fast as he can from the Fisherman into the far north of Norway lit by a never setting sun. Jon or Ulf (as he introduces himself in the village) finds shelter here in the hunter‘s cabin offered by a young widow Lea and her ten year old son Knut.

The new place is a settling of Laestadians, the religious sect headed by Lea‘s farther preaching that all who do not stick to the old Bible translations will burn in hell. There are also Sami people with quite opposite traditions. Driven mad by the cabin‘s solitude and never setting sun Ulf starts mixing with both groups. However, no matter how far away you are, the Fisherman will find you.

The outcome is so predictable that even the sudden twist in the plot is nothing else than a single ripple that doesn‘t really disturb the water.

Is Jo Nesbo going to continue like this? Even if these standalone novels are meant to turn into TV series featuring the most famous stars, still the readers are being misled and tricked into waiting for something unexpected yet to come, if ever...

But no matter what, the faith in Nesbo‘s talent won‘t listen to the mind‘s call to take a break. Exactly as Lea told Ulf: „Reason lives in the head, and faith in the heart. They‘re not always good neighbours“.

Uff, forget the negative feedback, start browsing for the release date of the next Nesbo‘s novel.

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