Although it follows too closely the plot of a previous book, Blood on Snow, this forcefully written story of personal defeat, despair and salvation, translated by Neil Smith, sends a man off to lose himself in the wilderness — where he finds himself instead. Introspective and sensitive, Hansen is the polar opposite of Harry Hole, Nesbo’s far more commanding series detective.
...even without good prose or a thrilling plot, Midnight Sun manages to be a fun read, with a likable protagonist and a brisk, page-turning pace. Nesbø is a talented storyteller and his narrative intuition is on full display, even without the usual guns and guts.
[Midnight Sun] tells a simple story — in the best sense of the word — and tells it well. Unlike thrillers that deal in incomprehensible plots and cheap thrills, this is the believable, focused story of a young man trying to escape the consequences of crime and facing hard choices about love, religion and life itself.
A plot twist at the end is jarring and unconvincing, although it comes so late as to hardly matter. Terse and unsentimental, this tale is a many-leveled parable of the human condition, intensified by the stark uncompromising setting of man against nature in one of the world’s most inhospitable locales.