Best Books of Spring
'Tis the season for smart, addictive, fresh novels and memoirs. Which will you pick up?
7 of 10
Blood on Snow
224 pages; Knopf
Available at:Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | IndieBound
This wondrously strange novel takes us inside the mind of Olav, a hit man working for a heroin and prostitution boss. Out of a job, Olav views the man he has just shot: "Blood was dripping down onto the snow from the bottom of his shirt. I don't actually know a lot about snow—or much else, for that matter—but I've read that snow crystals formed when it's really cold are completely different from wet snow, heavy flakes or the crunchy stuff...Either way, the snow under him made me think of a king's robe, all purple and lined with ermine, like the drawings in the book of Norwegian folk tales my mother used to read to me." As much as he's detached from his victims, dismissing them as "units," he has a vivid inner life. Alone in his room, he struggles to write a love letter, thirsts for knowledge and venerates Les Misérables. He is also protective of women. And when he is ordered to murder his boss's wife, all hell breaks loose. While the plot is filled with satisfying twists, it's Olav's contradictions—his heartbreakingly fractured personality—that make Blood on Snow so compelling.
— Dawn Raffel