cover image The Jealousy Man and Other Stories

The Jealousy Man and Other Stories

Jo Nesbø, trans. from the from the Norwegian by Robert Ferguson. Knopf, $28.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-593-32100-3

The 12 tales in this impressive collection from bestseller Nesbø (the Harry Hole series) blend taut suspense with sharply limned characters. “Rat Island” is the highlight, a dystopian tale set in the U.S. after a devastating pandemic. The health crisis proves an opportunity for the rich, helping them “in their struggle against those who posed the greatest threat to them: hordes of the poor and the desperate.” This disturbingly plausible near-future is enhanced by detailed worldbuilding; for example, visually impaired characters prepared in advance for doomsday by getting laser surgery, expecting that glasses and contact lenses would be hard to obtain. Nesbø also makes the most out of the conceit of the title story—a detective specializes in homicide cases where jealousy is the motive. Grim humor (“rather than kill someone they hate, Greeks allow the victim to go on living in Greece,” thus, the low murder rate in Greece) leavens stories highlighting the dark side of human nature. Frederick Forsyth fans will be enthralled. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Oct.)