Wednesday 21 March 2018

Gripping tale falls a bit short

Blood on the Snow, Jo Nesbo Harvill Secker, pbk, 224p, £11.99

Myles McWeeney

Olav works for Daniel Hoffmann, Oslo's top crime lord. Olav may be a career criminal, but he is not a particularly skilled one. As he says himself, he can't drive a getaway car because he's an aggressive driver; he can't be used in robberies because he scares the victims half to death; he can't work with drugs because he'd be his own best customer; and he can't work in prostitution because he falls in love too easily.

But he has one invaluable criminal talent - he's Hoffmann's top 'fixer' and when he fixes someone, they are terminally fixed. But Olav can't help wondering if a successful fixer might eventually become a liability to his employer and find himself fixed. There's also the problem that Hoffman has just promised him five times his usual fee him to fix the adulterous Mrs Hoffman.

However, Corina Hoffmann happens to be the woman of Olav's dreams - beautiful, with Brigitte Bardot lips and blond mussed-up glossy hair. Instead of fixing her he makes the radical decision to kidnap her - and that is when Olav's troubles really begin.

Nesbo, the giant of Scandinavian noir fiction thanks to the world-wide success of his Harry Hole crime thrillers, knows how to spin a gripping and violent tale and Olav's story is suitably gory. But, truth be told, Blood on Snow is a rather slight effort, and at around 40,000 words, less than half the length of the average thriller.

Available with free P&P on or by calling 091 709350

Well written meaty debut


Twilight, Clare Carson

Head of Zeus, pbk, 352p, £12.99

Sam doesn't know exactly what her father Jim does for a living. He says he's an undercover cop, so when he takes her and a friend to the stunning Orkney Islands for a summer holiday she spies on him.

He is behaving oddly, and why does she feel she herself is being watched? What she uncovers draws her into a very dangerous situation. First-time author Clare Carson delivers a meaty, beautifully written and original thriller set in Thatcher's 1970s Britain featuring an engaging central character.

Available with free P&P on or by calling 091 709350

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