A brutal and compelling family epic

TheSonPhilipp Meyer’s sweeping American epic, ‘The Son’, covers over one hundred years of family history – taking us on a journey from the wild frontiers of Texas to the turn of the twenty-first century.

As a young boy living on the frontier, Eli McCollough sees his family murdered in front of him and is taken captive by the local Comanche tribe. Against the odds, he thrives, becoming like an adopted son to the chief. He learns to live off the land, working hard and learning the value of everything. When his tribe is decimated, he has no choice but to return to the more civilised life of the white men, but struggles to fit in and rails against society. Having nothing at all to his name, Eli joins the Texas Rangers – a brutal and dangerous life. In the aftermath of the civil war, Eli takes the opportunity to carve out his fortune. He forges an empire that will last for years to come by milking everything that the land can offer, and by acting brutally and swiftly against anyone that might hinder his progress.

His son, Peter, is intrinsically aware that he and his father are cut from different cloths. Peter sees first-hand how the McCollough’s profit from the misfortune of others. He struggles to come to terms with the imbalance of power and wealth in his hometown. In an atmosphere that’s highly charged with racial tensions, others around him need only the slightest excuse to react with violence and claim with force what does not belong to them. Continue reading

‘The Son’ by Jo Nesbo

When Sonny was a teenager, his father took his own life. His suicide note revealed that he was a mole in the Oslo police force, passing information to the mysterious and shadowy figure of the Twin, a dangerous criminal with a network of resources at his disposal. This shattering revelation set his family on a path of destruction and ruin.

The SonNow a heroin addict, Sonny has been in prison for 12 years. Since his incarceration, he’s gained an almost mythical status amongst his fellow inmates as a receiver of confessions and a cleanser of souls. But when one of these confessions strikes particularly close to home, it throws everything that Sonny has ever believed about his father’s death into question.

Homicide Inspector Simon Kefas was once Sonny’s father best friend. On the surface, his current cases are random acts of violence, driven by petty theft or drugs. But as Simon investigates, he begins to suspect that the perpetrator is driven by a much more powerful motive. And he isn’t finished. When the crimes of the present become caught up with the ghosts of the past, Simon may be the only one that can help Sonny to uncover the truth he needs.

‘The Son’ is filled with a whole cast of unsavoury and untrustworthy characters and layer upon layer of deceit. But somehow, Jo Nesbo manages to turn our perceptions of good and bad completely on their head, as the lines between justice and law and right and wrong become increasingly blurred. Continue reading