I liked this book about an old guy from Manhattan who moves to Oslo to live with his granddaughter. Sheldon, 82, makes the move following his wife’s death because he is can’t take care of himself and is possibly becoming less lucid. Sheldon’s abilities are tested when he is thrown into the middle of a crime. A neighbor woman and child are in need of help from a violent man and Sheldon offers his apartment to hide, but the mom is found and murdered. Sheldon takes the seven-year-old boy, sneaks out and the chase is on. On the run, the true story comes out. Sheldon tells his wife and daughter that he was a file clerk during the Korean War, but in actuality he was a combat hero, a Marine sniper. He uses his skills to evade the bad guys and investigators in a foreign land, the Scandinavian wilderness. We learn that Sheldon’s son died in Vietnam and his guilt consumes his thoughts and dreams. He projects himself into the boat with his son in Vietnam. He regularly speaks to a friend long since past and so you find yourself, of course, rooting for him, but also wondering if he, in fact, is suffering from dementia. The book won accolades for the author as a crime novel, a thriller, but there is also humor and heart and characters well crafted. I think I will like any novel featuring an old guy seeking redemption.
“This charming debut has the brains of a literary novel and the body of a crime thriller … Though he fails to protect the mother, Sheldon takes off with the boy. Maybe this child he can save.” – The New York Times