|New York Times Bestsellers|
| ||Blood On Snow|
by Jo Nesbo
Publishers Weekly Olav-a hit man, or "fixer"-narrates this thin standalone from Nesbo (The Son) set in 1970s Oslo. His boss, drug kingpin Daniel Hoffmann, has an unusual assignment for Olav: "He wanted me to fix his wife." Olav sets up surveillance on the beautiful Corina Hoffman from a hotel across the street and watches her let a man into the apartment. It's someone she clearly knows, but the man's first action is to strike her, then he sleeps with her, and Olav figures she's being blackmailed. Olav, whose sympathies shift to Corina, hopes to save her and double-cross his boss in a plot reminiscent of a 1940s American noir novel. A damaged loner, Olav is full of contradictions, but he's more intelligent and emotional than he'll admit, which gives the book a bit of humanity and humor. Nesbo fans will enjoy this slender story, though newcomers may find it altogether too macabre. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list *Starred Review* NesbÝ tends to serve both small plates and large. The latter are typically novels in the Harry Hole series, multidimensional thrillers that often jump from the present to the past as the many-demoned hero sinks his teeth into a new case; the small plates, on the other hand, like this jewel of a novel, have a much narrower focus, homing in on one character caught in crisis at one sharply lit moment in time. Olav is a killer for hire; it's not that he particularly wants the job, but as a criminal, he can't do anything else well. Too sensitive to rob innocents or feed them drugs; killing is simpler. Until, that is, the boss decides to kill his wife and gives Olav the job. Danger bells clang: too personal, too likely the boss will want to have Olav killed after the job is finished. Oh, and after Olav gets a look at Mrs. Boss, there's another problem: he's in love with her. Attempts to carve a separate peace rarely work; the world is too much with us. Olav knows that but tries anyway; we admire him for it, the horror of his chosen profession notwithstanding. NesbÝ tells this small but ≠razor-sharp story with precision and understated eloquence, even generating suspense despite the inevitability built into the plot: we know there will be blood on snow, but we're not quite sure whose and how much. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 60,000 first printing isn't that high for NesbÝ, but expect this small plate to draw a big audience all the same.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Library Journal Olav and his employer, a major crime boss, agree that Olav is good for one thing only-serving as a hit man who expertly "fixes" up messes. However, when Olav is commissioned to kill his boss's wife, things start to go south for him. Olav knows if he takes her out, he is in danger of knowing too much and will have to be eliminated as well. He has to figure out a plan that will allow him to please his boss and still survive the contract. Unfortunately when he tails the wife, Olav becomes smitten with his new target. Nesbo steps away from his popular "Harry Hole" series (Police) to create a sympathetic, soft-hearted assassin trying to endure while following orders. This title is one of three short novels Nesbo wrote under the pen name Tom Johansson that have been optioned for movie rights (they were purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio and the movies will possibly star him). -VERDICT Olav is not Harry Hole, but readers will love him just the same. This tender killer who tries to maintain reason and compassion in a brutal world will appeal to Nesbo's fans and generate new followers. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 11/17/14.]-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Newbery Medal Winners|
| ||The Graveyard Book|
by Neil Gaiman
Library Journal A baby survives the killing of his family by a mysterious assassin. He crawls to a nearby graveyard and is adopted by the assortment of spooks who occupy the place, soon to include his own recently murdered parents. There he is christened with a new name: Nobody, or Bod for short. Under the watchful tutelage of the dead, Bod learns reading, writing, history, and a few other useful skills-haunting and "disapparating" [disappearing from a location and reappearing in another]. Why It Is a Best: An elegant combination of Gaiman's masterly storytelling and McKean's lovely drawings, this book also works as a series of independent but connected short stories set two years apart, following Bod from age two to 16. Why It Is for Us: In interviews, Gaiman has said that this book took him years to write, and it was worth the wait. Imagine Kipling's The Jungle Book set among a forest of graves. A complete recording of Gaiman reading the book is available on his web site; see also LJ's video with the author from BEA 2008.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly A lavish middle-grade novel, Gaiman's first since Coraline, this gothic fantasy almost lives up to its extravagant advance billing. The opening is enthralling: "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." Evading the murderer who kills the rest of his family, a child roughly 18 months old climbs out of his crib, bumps his bottom down a steep stairway, walks out the open door and crosses the street into the cemetery opposite, where ghosts take him in. What mystery/horror/suspense reader could stop here, especially with Gaiman's talent for storytelling? The author riffs on the Jungle Book, folklore, nursery rhymes and history; he tosses in werewolves and hints at vampires--and he makes these figures seem like metaphors for transitions in childhood and youth. As the boy, called Nobody or Bod, grows up, the killer still stalking him, there are slack moments and some repetition--not enough to spoil a reader's pleasure, but noticeable all the same. When the chilling moments do come, they are as genuinely frightening as only Gaiman can make them, and redeem any shortcomings. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved