Blood on Snow – Oslo – Jo Nesbo

Blood

Why a booktrail?

A departure from the norm for Nesbo with Olav, a man tasked with killing a woman he then develops feelings for.

Story in a nutshell

Olav Johansen is a rather solitary person working as a ‘fixer’ – someone who gets rid of people his boss wants ‘taken care of’

His boss is the major player in Oslo’s prostitution and heroin ‘industries’ and wants Olav to kill his wife. As Olav prepares to research his victim, he gets to know her and finds himself falling for her. Now he wants to protect her rather than anything else – and he knows exactly the danger she is in.

Olav is not your usual fixer. He’s rather sensitive with a dry sense of humour and believes his only talent is killing.

Place and setting

Oslo Fjord where the book opens - the scene set against this darkness Oslo Harbour The warehouses on the quayside are all shut up for the night Bygdøy allé Oslo where the Hoffman’s live. Olav rents an appartment opposite *National Theatre (Nationaltheatret)  Johanne Dybwads plass 1 Olav follows someone to the underground station here Old Aker Church Akersbakken 26 A site where he waits for Corinna
Oslo Fjord
where the book opens – the scene set against this darkness
Oslo Harbour
The warehouses on the quayside are all shut up for the night
Bygdøy allé
Oslo
where the Hoffman’s live. Olav rents an appartment opposite
National Theatre (Nationaltheatret)
Johanne Dybwads plass 1
Olav follows someone to the underground station here
Old Aker Church
Akersbakken 26
A site where he waits for Corinna

Oslo

There is snow on the ground in Oslo. There is blood on that snow.

“The snow was dancing like cotton wool in the light of the street lamps.”

Not your usual behaviour of snow in a Jo Nesbo novel. It falls aimlessly to the ground, letting the wind blow it any which way, with the darkness of the Oslo fjord acting as the perfect black backdrop – white against black, a contrast which will acquire a shade of red – blood – later in the book.

Blood on snow reminds him of a King’s robe. His mother loved Norwegian fairytales and kings and is probably why he’s named after one.

The setting here is one of Oslo’s underbelly, the world that Olav inhabits as his boss Hoffman is the crime kingpin of the city. Involved in both prostitution and the drug’s world, he oversees the worst of Oslo society.

Olav is part of that souless and morale free world, enjoying the fact he can kill easily and that’s he’s good at it.

With a world spiralling out of control, Olav and Corina go on the run, but Oslo is not a large city. No place would be big enough to hide when Hoffman is after you. You could try doing a deal with the competition but then who plays by the rules in this game?

Oslo might be snowy, peaceful and calm on the surface, but dig a little deeper and the snow is not white and untouched. Secrets buried will surface and stain at some point..

Bookish musings

I’m still reeling from reading this. It’s very graphic and that I know is a Nesbo speciality but still… I found it strange that I was starting to worry and wonder about someone who’s just told me he kills people for a living. A killer with a conscious? I’d never read about a man who killed as he wasn’t good at anything else. A  man with dyslexia and other issues seems hellbent of doing this hideous job. Just when you think he’s human – he does something violent. The novel is short and almost reads like a novella but it does set the scene for a follow up later in the year.

I rattled through this as it’s an accessible read but I’m still shocked by that ending.

Jo Nesbo – The arrival of a literary rock star……Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – part two

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Jo Nesbo in Harrogate – part two

There was a lot to discover about Jo Nesbo that night – first of all the ‘Bono’ glasses he was wearing was not a reference to that fine rock star or Jo’s own rock star past, but an eye infection.

The Bono glasses

He laughed at the irony of the glasses and at his own rock star credentials. His band were called  – Di Derre  – he said, and they would  have to change their name regularly as they were so bad but – Di Derre, ‘those guys’ in Norwegian stuck. And the rest they say is history.

What about the trappings of a rock star life? Did he have private jets and fast cars?

You can tell how well your books are selling by the size of the car they pick you up in at the airport’, he said. No smart cars for this man, then. No  – one time was actually a private jet was sent. Very cool he laughed.

He still looked the rock star as he chatted to Mark Lawson – his designer stubble, Bono shades, and black clothes, not to mention the bottles of beer on the table beside him. No normal water for Jo Nesbo!

So Harry Hole? This new book is not about him so will Harry be back?

Yes, he said. Harry is just taking a much needed holiday (after his latest adventures the poor guy must really need some TLC) He will be back and n the meantime, the film of The Snowman is being discussed with Martin Scorsese…..

How did the name Harry Hole come about?

It came from two people – Harry a famous Norwegian footballer and a man in his village where he lived as a child with the surname Hole. The name took on a scary image as the neighbour was a tall old man with a beard and Jo was told that if he was naughty ‘Hole’ would get you…

Blood on Snow

Jo’s original plan in writing this was to write about a fictional writer Tom Johansen from the 70s who is snatched from the airport in what he calls an express kidnapping (where the person is released practically overnight if the ransom is paid)

He wanted to create a Wikipedia entry for this man, pretend he existed in real life and even write the books that this fictional writer would have written. Sadly the lawyers stepped in so he instead turned to writing Johansen’s novels. The first – Blood on Snow….

There were many amusing questions of the night, least of all one guy who asked ‘ Do your friends now avoid you or think you’re a bit weird when they see what you write?

He laughed and nodded his head. Yeah, no I don’t think so” , he said. He still has his old friends, his old hangouts and prefers the quiet life that way.

Jo Nesbo – a rockstar of his own making and Tom Johansen – the start of a new and exciting Nesbo chapter…

jonesbo

We are honoured to have FOUR copies of BLOOD ON SNOW  to giveaway!! One has been signed by the man himself! Look!

Enter by likening and sharing Facebook page and answering our little questionhttps://www.facebook.com/thebooktrail

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The arrival of a literary rock star……Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – part one

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The tension and the excitement in the audience was palpable……

For the stage in front of us was set and the arrival of the special guest star was imminent.

The thumping baseline of ‘Flash’s Theme’ by Queen – the Flash Gordon theme song pumped in time with our heartbeats and the sound was deafening. A true literary rockstar in all senses of the word was about to enter the room.

To add to the atmosphere, a mist was starting to descend and fill the room threatening to swallow us all up in a snowstorm of sorts. Snow…..the fear crept inside me and I turned to the guy next to me whose beard had taken on a blood red tinge thanks to the rotating spotlight above. The musical thunder swallowed my screams…

Would there be Blood on Snow? Should I not have reread The Snowman the night before? Now, if I saw a scarf lying on the floor, abandoned from its snowman body, that was it, I’d be out of there!

Then a man fighting his way through the mist, dressed in black, waving his arms to find his way – a bit like a Phantom…..I was half out of my chair but phew it was luckily Mark Lawson, presenter and broadcaster extraordinaire.

And then…

…..the man himself…..

…the Redeemer…… came into view

Shocks and gasps from the audience showed greatness had arrived….

Jo Nesbo was in the house……….

Disclaimer – some or all of this experience may or may not have been true since the writer has a overly vivid imagination..

But this evening – the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival was very real and very exciting indeed….

Tuesday Teaser: The Snowman – Oslo – Jo Nesbo

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

We have The Snowman by Jo Nesbo – set in Oslo, Norway –  a perfect read for this time of year:

snowman

Blurb –

SOON THE FIRST SNOW WILL COME.

A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Their house is empty but outside in the garden he sees his mother’s favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.

AND THEN HE WILL APPEAR AGAIN.

As Harry Hole and his team begin their investigation they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.

AND WHEN THE SNOW IS GONE…

When a second woman disappears it seems that Harry’s worst suspicions are confirmed: for the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his home turf.

…HE WILL HAVE TAKEN SOMEONE ELSE

Teasers –

‘A face,’ he whispered

She flinched. ‘Where?’

‘Outside the window’

Her son was pale and his lower lip was trembling

‘Is there anything wrong?’ she asked

‘Yes’, he said. ‘I saw him’

What do you mean she said, turning the key in the ignition and turning

‘The snowman…’

Scary……Don’t read this if it is snowing outside……