Derek B. Miller’s NORWEGIAN BY NIGHT
I have never been so emotionally moved by a thriller before. This is a sad and beautiful novel that I absolutely loved. The main character of the book, Sheldon Horowitz, is an 82 year-old man who is trapped by fragile memories, devastating grief and an overwhelming desire to set things right. He is haunted by the death of his son in Vietnam and whether or not he was responsible for sending his son to war.
Sheldon’s wife of many years has recently passed away. His granddaughter, concerned that Sheldon maybe be suffering from dementia convinces him to leave New York and move in with her and her husband in their apartment in Oslo. When he witnesses the murder of a young woman he is compelled to make sure the woman’s son is protected and sets off on a seemingly impossible mission.
This is like no other literary thriller. I think another writer would have taken a harder edge to this story. Sheldon is an ex-Marine who served in Korea and this could easily have been about a toughened ex-soldier who becomes a hero one last time. But Derek Miller has created a different type of fictional hero. An endearing hero whose spirit and sadness not only engulfs you as a reader but warms you too. Sheldon is not a toughened ex-soldier he is a person whose world has been shaped and tested by the events in his life and wants to try and set them right. His humour and sadness is mistaken as cynicism and old age by those who love him (including you). Not only does this book emotionally haunt you it is also a gripping and tense thriller with an ending that will leave you gasping for breath and wiping away a tear or two.
I also love the fact that this being published in Australia before the UK and US (it has been published in Norwegian). Hats off to Henry Rosenbloom at Scribe who has personally edited and typeset this book so Scribe could be ahead of the pack. There is no need to worry about the 30/90 day rule or 14/14 days when you publish first and I hope Australian booksellers get behind this wonderful novel because we’re going to have an English language exclusive for several months on a truly brilliant book.