I saw this book on a blog and picked it up at my local library. I really am uncertain about reviewing it because I don’t think I can do it justice. This is so much more than Nordic Crime fiction, it is crosses genres and should definitely be considered literary fiction. The prose is wonderfully nuanced and the book addresses social political issues particularly surrounding immigration and attitudes towards immigrants, aging, conflicts and war.
Sheldon is a Korean war veteran who has reluctantly moved to Norway to live out what is left of his life with the Granddaughter he raised. He is beginning to suffer the effects of dementia and the lines between what is currently happening and what happened in the past are blurred. The murder of a neighbor sets Sheldon on a desperate journey to save a child and himself in an unfamiliar country.
This book reminds me in some ways of The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared, which I also enjoyed. Sheldon is a man of many layers, what people see on the outside, an old man, perhaps beginning to be a little out of touch, needing help, hides an inner core built of steely determination, intelligence, and independence. All of this is tempered with a strong dose of survivor’s guilt as stories of the dead emerge from Sheldon’s memory. Sheldon struggles to stay present and use the skills from his old life to keep Paul and himself alive.
Highly Recommended 5 star read!