Crime king Jo Nesboe's tale of revenge has echoes of his own father

Wed Apr 9, 2014 11:04am EDT
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By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO (Reuters) - Jo Nesboe, one of Scandinavia's most successful crime writers, explores revenge and father-son dramas in his latest thriller "The Son", which tracks his own story of learning his father had fought with Hitler's army.

Together with Sweden's Stieg Larsson and fellow Norwegian Karin Fossum, Nesboe is one of the biggest stars of the Nordic Noir genre that has enthralled legions of international readers by exploring the darker side of these prosperous societies.

A former footballer, stockbroker, journalist and rock star, Nesboe has sold more than 20 million copies in some 40 countries worldwide. Hollywood has been knocking at the door and wants to adapt several of his novels.

His latest book tells of a young man in prison who listens to the confessions of other inmates and absolves them of their sins. He escapes from jail when he finds out during a confession a secret about his disgraced father.

"I wanted to build a story around the idea of an avengeful God and the article of faith on Jesus as the executioner of an all powerful God who judges who lives and who dies," he said.

"What if we took it seriously and saw an avengenful son who exacts revenge for him and his father?" Nesboe, 54, told Reuters

in a cafe in his western Oslo neighborhood of Majorstua.

The book may have been Nesboe's way to explore his own relationship with his father, especially his discovery as a teenager that he had fought with the Germans on the eastern European front.   Continued...

Undated handout photo of Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. REUTERS/Handout/Hakon Eikesdal