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He calls himself Ulf as good a name as any, he thinks and the only thing he s looking for is a place where he won t be found by Oslo s most notorious drug lord: the Fisherman. He was once the Fisherman s fixer, but after betraying him, Ulf is now the one his former boss needs fixed which may not be a problem for a man whose criminal reach is boundless. When Ulf gets off the bus in Kasund, on Norway s far northeastern border, he sees a flat, monotonous, bleak landscape . . . the perfect hiding place. Hopefully.
The locals native Sami and followers of a particularly harsh Swedish version of Christianity seem to accept Ulf s explanation that he s come to hunt, even if he has no gun and the season has yet to start. And a bereaved, taciturn woman and her curious, talkative young son supply him with food, the use of a cabin deep in the woods, a weapon and companionship that stirs something in him he thought was long dead.
But the agonizing wait for the inevitable moment when the Fisherman s henchmen will show the midnight sun hanging in the sky like an unblinking, all-revealing eye forces him to question if redemption is at all possible or if, as he s always believed, hope is a real bastard.
From the Hardcover edition."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
This short Norwegian thriller focuses on an antihero (in this case a sympathetic one) involved with a brutal Oslo crime lord known as the Fisherman. The story unfolds from the perspective of Jon, who uses his reputation as a killer to gain a high-paying job as assassin for the Fisherman in order to pay for medication for his leukemia-stricken daughter. When Jon is morally unable to fulfill an assigned contract, he’s forced to flee the Fisherman’s wrath—and Oslo—for a map speck above the Arctic Circle populated by a strict religious sect. There he begins a new life, making friends and enemies, and falling in love with a young widow, while never forgetting that, eventually, he’ll have to deal with the Fisherman. Singer-songwriter Gordon, cofounder of the alt rock band Sonic Youth, reads for the audio edition of this male-narrated novel. Gordon’s voice, though smoky and properly dramatic when necessary, is clearly feminine. While this may serve the author’s prose well enough in general, the gender contrast has a tendency to undermine some of the novel’s more violent and more intimate passages. A Knopf hardcover. (Feb.)