Norwegian by Night
by Derek B. Miller
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 290 pgs. Mystery
When 82-year old Sheldon Horowitz finds himself an uneasy transplant to Norway, living with his granddaughter and her new husband, he doesn't have much time to reflect on his situation before he is thrust into the role of protector of a young boy from the upstairs apartment whose mother has been murdered practically in front of his eyes. Leaving his granddaughter a cryptic note about "lighting out for the territories," Sheldon and the young boy must avoid the killers, one of whom is the boy's father, and the police who may unwittingly hand the boy over to his dad. Multiple perspectives show the two heading directly into danger when they think they will soon be safe. Even more engaging than the suspense of the story, though, is Sheldon's mental and emotional journey as he simultaneously travels through his past with his deceased wife, a friend from next door who has passed away, and most importantly, with his son who was killed in Vietnam. Rich in philosophy, love, regret, and hope, Norwegian by Night is not just one of the best mysteries of 2013, but one of the best books.