OLAV LIVES THE LONELY LIFE OF A FIXER.
WHEN YOU ‘FIX’ PEOPLE FOR A LIVING – TERMINALLY – IT’S HARD TO GET CLOSE TO ANYONE.
NOW HE’S FINALLY MET THE WOMAN OF HIS DREAMS.
BUT THERE ARE TWO PROBLEMS.
SHE’S HIS BOSS’S WIFE.
AND OLAV’S JUST BEEN HIRED TO KILL HER.
About the protagonist…
Blood on Snow tells the story of Olav; a hitman with a heart, a “fixer” for a heroin dealer in Oslo. The book is told through his eyes, which I found to be an interesting perspective, given that most books by Jo Nesbø are third person narratives.
Olav isn’t your typical, cold-blooded killer, though. He’s dyslexic and, despite being a fixer, admits among other things that he’s got a “weak, sensitive nature”, and falls in love far too easily. Pretty ironic, right? Also, at one point during the book, Olav speaks about his troubled childhood, and the bad relationship he had with his abusive father. In fact, he says that he gets the dark side of his personality from his dad, and describes it as being “like a virus, an illness in my blood”.
On to the story…
The book starts off on a typical snowy winter day in Oslo, with Olav having just shot his latest victim. The day after, when he is asked to go to his boss’ office for the next job briefing, he is instructed to kill Corina Hoffman, his boss’ wife.
Olav rents a room in a hotel just opposite the Hoffman residence, in order to observe Mrs. Hoffman’s daily routines, her coming and goings, following her wherever she goes. He is immediately taken by her beauty. Everything seemed normal in the apartment, with Corina, until one day he notices something shocking taking place. What’s more absurd is the fact that the same thing happens every day, at exactly the same time. Olav subsequently decides to take drastic action, which causes his original plan to kill Corina Hoffman to go haywire.
The second half of this pacy thriller then races by in an extended climax, which is where Nesbø really shines. The cinematic-like showdown in a church crypt is one of the best action scenes he’s written yet, I believe. And I certainly wasn’t expecting the plot twist towards the final pages of the book.