Blood on Snow, by Jo Nesbo - Book Review

Blood on Snow is my first foray into the world of Jo Nesbo, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. First, let me begin with the reasons I chose this book. One, the book has been on many “2015 must read” lists. Two, I’ve been focused on female-centric books lately and wanted a change of pace. And finally, Nesbo’s bio - “a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer”. Perfect.

The story is told by Olav, a “fixer”, or contract killer in the frigid Norway winter. As he tells us about himself, we think he’s perhaps a bit dim. But we find quickly that while he has dyslexia, Olav is quite clever. He tries to deceive us often with, “but what do I know” comments after explaining that he’s read a scientific journal or idealized the romance of Les Misérables. Olav fixes situations for his bosses, but he also fixes stories - both in books and his own reality to turn them into a newer, more interesting and romantic version.

Though a killer, you can’t help but like Olav. He’s dedicated to his work, has a self-deprecating manner and falls in love easily. Our protagonist is very frank about his strengths and weaknesses. For example, he’s no use driving a getaway car. He can drive fast, “but I can’t drive inconspicuously, and anyone driving a getaway car has to be able to do both.” 

Olav takes an assignment to fix his boss’s beautiful, but unfaithful wife. A job that’s impossible to refuse, though after watching her, he becomes “bewitched”. And of course, plans go awry, where Olav puts to good use both his professional abilities and his gift of fixing a story.

Blood on Snow is odd and beautiful. Not too deep, and a bit of fun. I think I’ll be picking up more from Jo Nesbo soon.

Published: 2015
Publisher: Knopf

Vickie’s rating: 4 stars