Mumsnet very kindly sent me a copy of the audiobook of Blood on Snow for review. I’d not listened to an audiobook for a while, and had never read anything by Jo Nesbo so was interested to see how this one went.
The book is read by Patti Smith, who is a bit of a legend. At first, the fact she’s a woman reading a book told entirely from a male assassin’s point of view was a bit off-putting. But actually, if you forget the fact it’s Patti Smith, she has this languid American drawl that could easily be a man’s voice (no offence to Ms Smith, obviously). Here’s an example:
I’ve read other reviews where people didn’t like Smith’s tone, the fact there wasn’t much excitement in her voice throughout the book – but for me, I think that sort of adds to it. As if the narrator finds none of this out of the ordinary, it’s all just what happens and he’s just relaying the facts.
Olav is a contract killer, who seems to have drifted into that line of work because he lacks any significant other talent. His boss sends him to kill a woman, but while he’s watching her to figure out the best time to strike, he falls for her – and ends up killing someone else instead. That someone else turns out to be someone the boss would really rather wasn’t dead – and everything goes a bit wrong from there.
I had never read a Jo Nesbo book before; I’ve no idea if this book is any different from his others, or follows the same formula as his previous books. As a standalone story though, it’s good. It’s not high brow, it’s not going to win any Nobel prizes for literature – but it’s good. I like the way the story twists and turns, and honestly didn’t see the ending coming – perhaps because I don’t read these books very often, so I’m not used to how they usually pan out.
I did feel a bit like the ending was a bit of a let down. I liked the twist and didn’t see it coming, but I felt like it could have done with ending with the penultimate chapter. The final chapter kind of ruined it for me.
I think having Patti Smith read the book is a great idea; hers is the perfect voice to tell the story of “fixer” who doesn’t really care about his work, only does it because he can’t do anything else, doesn’t really care what happens to him, is entirely laid back and unbothered about everything. It gives the impression that he doesn’t really have any feelings about anything; even when something shocking happens, he’s not really shocked by it, it’s like it was inevitable that something like that would happen to him.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read. I think it’s a great story that works well as an audiobook. Ideal for the morning commute or to keep your brain ticking over while you do the washing up!
Thanks for reading.