MACBETH is one of the most violent novels that I’ve read for a while. This is Jo Nesbo’s version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Macbeth starts out as the head of the SWAT team in a town that is run by organised crime and has completely fallen apart. Most of the townspeople are addicted to ‘brew’ which is cooked up by drug lord Hecate. The corrupt chief commissioner has just been replaced by Duncan who is intent on cleaning up. The deputy chief is Malcolm. The Narcotics unit is run by Macbeth’s childhood friend Duff who loves his wife and children but is having an affair with the head of forensics Caithness. Macbeth is in love with Lady who owns one of the town’s two casinos. She is ambitious but plagued by her past. Macbeth also has problems with his past as a drug addict.
Duff and Macbeth intercept a drug shipment of rival drug boss Sweno and are seen as heroes. Macbeth and his friend and colleague Banqo are approached by a trio of woman who work with Hecate. They make a prediction that Macbeth will be chief commissioner.
Macbeth believes that his lack of education and family connections will stop him from achieving his ambitions, but the idea has been planted and he is determined to get there. With Lady’s help they work out a scheme for Macbeth to get to the top. But they soon find that murdering Duncan was only the first step. As they both become more addicted to power and delusional, they start planning to murder anyone who threatens to get in their way. Hecate has been assisting, but will they keep their promise to protect him from the purge?
Can anyone stop Macbeth’s bloody reign of terror.
Unfortunately I don’t know much about the original Macbeth by Shakespeare but from what I’ve heard, this novel is an excellent, if bloodthirsty, retelling of the original.
In any case this is an excellent novel. It started a bit slowly but once it got going it was impossible to put down. This is hardly surprising from such a remarkable storyteller as Jo Nesbo.