by Nesbo, Jo; Ferguson, Robert (TRN)

A mechanic from a rural mountain village finds the limits of his family loyalties tested when his entrepreneur brother announces plans to revitalize the community through a hotel project that becomes increasingly overshadowed by greed and dangerous secrets.

JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, economist, and #1 New York Times best-selling author. He has won the Raymond Chandler Award for Lifetime Achievement as well as many other awards. His books have sold 45 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 50 languages. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard, Phantom, and most recently Knife, and he is also the author of The Son, Headhunters, Macbeth, and several children's books. He lives in Oslo.

*Starred Review* With echoes of such classic noir authors as Dorothy B. Hughes, James M. Cain, and Jim Thompson, Nesbø returns with a creepy stand-alone featuring Roy Opgard, an introverted auto mechanic in a remote Norwegian village who attempts to live by his father's dictum: It's us against absolutely everybody else. Unfortunately, in the Opgard family, the dysfunction runs deep and deadly. As the self-appointed protector of his younger brother, Carl, the victim of sexual abuse, Roy does what he feels must be done, but the need for protecting is far from over. Yes, Carl escapes the village by going to America, but when he returns, seemingly a successful entrepreneur with a beautiful wife, Roy goes on high alert. First, it's clear that Carl's scheme to build a luxury hotel near the village is severely flawed, and, worse, there's Carl's wife, to whom Roy is immediately attracted and who seems to be in an abusive relationship with Carl. We watch in horror as the protector becomes more proactive in dealing with perceived threats. That horror is made all the more tangible, thanks to Roy's self-awareness: The beast was rolling faster now. On its way toward that hell for which we are all bound . . . those of us with the heart for murder. Nesbø brilliantly uses the insularity of Roy's world, both internally and externally, to accentuate the Shakespearean inevitability of the impending tragedy. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

The latest stand-alone from the chronicler of Inspector Harry Hole puts all the murky, violent twists on brotherly love that you'd expect from this leading exponent of Nordic noir. Roy Calvin Opgard has always been joined at the hip to his kid brother, Carl Abel Opgard, though not in the ways you'd expect. Carl was clearly his father's favorite, and years ago he left Norway for Canada, where he made quite the reputation as an entrepreneur, while Roy stayed behind to run a petrol station his dreams merely stretched to owning. When Carl returns to Os, it's with a beautiful bride, Barbados-born Shannon Alleyne, and an ambitious plan to build the Os Spa and Mountain Hotel on land the brothers inherited when their parents plunged to their deaths in the prized Cadillac Raymond Opgard bought from conniving Willum Willumsen. But there's more to Carl's noble-sounding scheme to finance the project by distributing ownership shares among the townsfolk than he lets on. And Carl's return to his hometown unearths long-simmering tensions between the brothers and threatens to reveal long-buried secrets about the deaths of their parents, the disappearance long ago of she riff Sigmund Olsen, whose son, Kurt, now holds the sheriff's job, and the checkered sexual histories of both Carl and Roy. Nesbø peels away the secrets surrounding Carl's project, his backstory, and his connections to his old neighbors so methodically that most readers, like frogs in a gradually warming pan of water, will take quite a while to realize just how extensive, wholesale, and disturbing those secrets really are. The illusions of a family and its close-knit town constructed and demolished on a truly epic scale. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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