Mere Blod

Mere Blod Midnight Sun

Blood on Snow #2

In August 1977, a man gets off the bus in an isolated village in the extreme north of Norway. He says his name is Ulf, he has no luggage, and he claims to be there for the hunting. Among the native Sami and the Læstadians, adherents of an old-fashioned form of Christianity, he discovers a culture that is both hospitable and exclusive, helpful and unfamiliar. The village sexton, Lea, lends him a rifle and a hunting cabin, where the midnight sun keeps him awake as he restlessly keeps watch on the monotonous expanse of the Finnmark plain. Slowly it dawns on Lea and her son Knut that Ulf isn’t a hunter but someone else’s prey. And that the hunters are on their way.

Audiobook read by Kim Gordon.

Reviews

  • “[An] excellent standalone… Immaculately plotted and perfectly paced, the book is also darkly funny and deadly serious. Scandinavian gloom notwithstanding, it has a neatly satisfying and surprisingly moving ending. ”

    Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*, US

  • Midnight Sun may not be as long as some of Nesbø’s efforts featuring Harry Hole, but he plumbs his usual depths, utilizing a number of deceptively simple but ultimately complex characters with some oddball secondary players and mixing them with a menace that is omnipresent, whether on or off the page. Those Nesbø aficionados who otherwise might be disappointed by Hole’s absence this time around will have no cause for negative feelings here, thanks to the author’s sharp combination of characters and plot and Neil Smith’s robust, journeyman translation.”

    The Book Reporter, US

  • “Jo Nesbo is back with a taut thriller set on his home turf /.../ [Midnight Sun] tells a simple story — in the best sense of the word — and tells it well. Unlike thrillers that deal in incomprehensible plots and cheap thrills, this is the believable, focused story of a young man trying to escape the consequences of crime and facing hard choices about love, religion and life itself. /.../ Certainly the Hole books, at their best, have been excellent. But it’s good to see Nesbo apply his talents to something more modest, but no less admirable, such as Midnight Sun. ”

    Washington Post, US

  • “This forcefully written story of personal defeat, despair and salvation, translated by Neil Smith, sends a man off to lose himself in the wilderness — where he finds himself instead.”

    New York Times, US

  • “[Midnight Sun is] a fun read, with a likable protagonist and a brisk, page-turning pace. Nesbø is a talented storyteller and his narrative intuition is on full display, even without the usual guns and guts.”

    Los Angeles Times, US

  • “The pace isn’t as frenetic as some of Nesbo’s other, bestselling crime novels, but this book should appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story and prefers fewer bullets and a low body count.”

    Star Tribune, US

  • “Terse and unsentimental, this tale is a many-leveled parable of the human condition, intensified by the stark uncompromising setting of man against nature in one of the world’s most inhospitable locales.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, US

  • “Readers who like their crime fiction cut-to-the-bone lean will love the opening pages of Jo Nesbø’s new, swift-moving existential thriller, Midnight Sun. /.../ Like last year’s Blood on Snow, Midnight Sun is shorter and less densely plotted. In place of heft, he has opted for a lighter, cinema-infused touch that deftly evokes low-budget noir films of the 1940s and 1950s as well as the self-aware, winking work of Quentin Tarantino and his ilk. The starkly beautiful setting and the strong characters — especially Lea’s young son, hellfire-obsessed and boyishly funny — help distinguish Midnight Sun, too. But Nesbø’s up to something more than a throwaway night’s worth of entertainment. Ultimately, Midnight Sun is a compelling exploration of love, faith, the meaning of life and redemption. That’s pretty impressive for a crime novel that zips along, albeit often grimly, for a mere 273 pages. ”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch, US

  • “When you are ineluctably and unarguably the reigning king of Scandinavian crime fiction – as the charismatic Jo Nesbo is – with even your nearest rivals circling like asteroids around a Jupiter-sized planet, can you afford to rest on your laurels? In Nesbo’s case, the answer is probably yes – and some might think that the concise, fast-moving standalones that the author is currently producing might be considered relatively lightweight entertainments when set against the massive, socially committed novels featuring his Norwegian sleuth Harry Hole. But even a cursory examination of the new one, Midnight Sun, shows that this is simply not the case. /.../ It’s something of a cliché to say that Nesbo’s writing sports a cinematic quality, but it’s a fact that has to be registered – but like Blood on Snow, the new book is by no means just a treatment for a screenplay; this is a single-sitting reading experience from a writer who has honed the skills of his craft. (The translation by Neil Smith is deft and idiomatic.) ”

    The Independent, UK

  • “Fans of Nesbø’s Harry Hole series will enjoy the usual fare of guns, gangsters, drugs and violence - but along with the black humour and pacy suspense, there’s a poignant portrait of a man resigned to dying who finds a reason to live again. A perfectly-formed thriller, written in pure, unadorned prose, that pierces the heart with its icy brilliance. ”

    Sunday Mirror, UK

  • “Beautifully told in firm, spare prose, this is the poignant story of a man confronting the worst demons and yet the rehabilitation that love can bring.”

    Daily Mail, UK

  • “A thrilling tale”

    Mail on Sunday, UK

  • “THE master of Nordic noir.”

    Daily Express, UK

  • “Short, brisk, emotionally compelling and stylishly written”

    Belfast Telegraph Morning, UK

  • “A short, lyrical tale where every word counts /…/ another brilliant thriller from the master storyteller”

    Daily Express, UK

  • “Jo Nesbo hits the target at will in new novella Midnight Sun. The only problem with the latest by the new king of Scandinavian noir is that it’s over all too soon /.../ Nesbo is in good form, providing a few surprises even though, like its predecessor Blood on Snow, Midnight Sun is over much too soon. His punchy, cut-to-the chase action, credible characterisation and minimalist dialogue are all on show. He cleverly cuts between Jon’s haunted past and increasingly stressful present as his hero counts the long, slow, monotonous hours and days waiting for danger, while the growing tension cleverly mirrors Jon’s burgeoning feelings for Lea.”

    ★★★★

    South China Morning Post, China

  • “[Midnight Sun] starts with the sentence, ‘How are we to start this story?’ and one could rightly ask the same question about this review. /.../ The final assessment can be summarized in five stars, because the novel is good – really good. But that kind of rating says nothing about the subtle linguistic lushness that pervades the book. It doesn’t say anything about the plot, which is quite banal in a way, but which Nesbø elevates to something magical. It doesn’t give a detailed description of the characters, who appear stereotypical, but are filled with nuance and nerve. And it doesn’t at all explain how the Norwegian master, here as well as in the first installment Blood on Snow, mixes humor with solemnity, poetry with suspense, and play with death.”

    ★★★★★

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø has begun a new project wherein he adopts a reverse viewpoint, that is that of the criminal’s. /…/ We already know from experience that Jo Nesbø can plot, write, and emote. Now, we can establish that he’s able to do so also in reverse.”

    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “Extremely well written and enthusiastically told through a long inner monologue. The point of view is that of our hit man, and in spite of all his colorfulness it is nonetheless realistic. In this manner, the book and plot take the form of a moral and immensely entertaining Western. And as usual it is equipped with the humorous and hard-boiled observations that have always been part of Nesbø’s trademark. /.../ It is colorful, entertaining, and at the same time filled with a considerable amount of meaningful philosophy.”

    Nordjyske Stiftstidene, Denmark

  • “Nesbø elegantly and stylishly delivers a fable like story. /…/ genuine suspense in the vein of a classical Western. As always with Nesbø, the mood swings between vibrating and stormy, from gentle via disturbing to brutal and back again. Invariably darkness rules, midnight sun or not, but as always there is hope, and a gentle woman to be found in the midst of all that grimness.”

    Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

  • “There is a scene in the new novel from Norwegian Jo Nesbø which I’ll never forget. It’s so spectacular in its descriptive power that it almost gave me vertigo. /…/ [Midnight Sun] is a magnificent depiction of the peculiar lifestyle of northern Norway. And in the midst of it, as in any good story, is a beautiful love story, and a touching friendship between the hit man and a little boy. Here are several wonderful interactions between the precocious boy and the hit man on the run. It is written with warmth and humor. Even though our protagonist comes from an environment you usually wouldn’t associate with anything good, you empathize with him. Because when it comes down to it, he is a good person, as a Sami woman brusquely summarizes. A brilliant story with a steady level of suspense and formidable depictions of people and settings.”

    Horsens Folkeblad, Denmark

  • “There are several good character depictions in [Midnight Sun]. We’re given a close-up view of madness, compassion, and memories of the past that are better left alone. /…/ Nesbø owns the art of telling stories for adults.”

    Fyns Amts Avis, Denmark

  • “Nesbø’s new novel is truly well told /…/ The momentum of the language and storytelling is impeccable. ”

    NRK, Norway

  • “The linguistic fireworks elevate the novel. Funny character portrayals, beautiful landscapes and other formulations hint that the author had a blast while writing. ”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “An excellent Sami-Western /…/ Midnight Sun is a riotous read, a great roller coaster ride. ”

    Dagens Næringsliv, Norway

  • “A sweet little love song. /…/ Nesbø knows exactly what he’s doing. Exactly.”

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • “Nesbø’s glance at the closed and polarized little community is both insightful and hilarious.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

Download all reviews
Author
Photo: #{bookData.artist.imageByline}Jo Nesbø
Published
2015
Genre
  • Crime
Pages
236
Reading material

English edition

Norwegian edition

Rights sold

Brazil, Record

Canada, Penguin Random House

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Johnny Kniga

France, Gallimard

Germany, Ullstein

Greece, Metaixmio

Hungary, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Italy, Einaudi

Japan, Hayakawa

Korea, Viche

Latvia, Zvaigzne ABC

Lithuania, Baltos Lankos

Netherlands, Cargo

Norway, Aschehoug

Poland, Dolnoslaskie

Russia, Inostranka

Slovakia, Ikar

Spain, Mondadori

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Thailand, WeLearn

Ukraine, Folio

UK, Harvill Secker

US, Knopf

Film rights sold

US, Cattleya

More from Jo Nesbø

Harry Hole

Doctor Proctor

Blood on Snow

Stand-alone