The Son, by Jo Nesbo (Random House, RRP $38):
Set in sunny summertime Oslo, a prison-cell confession to a fellow inmate reveals a hidden secret about his father and spirals Sonny Lofthaus’ life out of control.
For years Sonny had been taking punishment as a professional scapegoat. Now this revelation has unleashed a need to punish the wrongdoers who have fed off his despair. A jailbreak and a series of killings ensue. But, of course, the results of Sonny’s righteous anger now means he is being sought by both the police and Oslo’s top criminal gang.
This is a story of revenge and natural justice. It seems to cover most of the cliches: a clever older detective with personal demons, a young novice partner, and a powerful yet hidden-in-the- shadows crime lord. This is all comfortable territory; you care for/dislike the right lot, there is action aplenty and the careful revealing of Sonny’s back story results in a good modern-day crime thriller.