As a huge fan (Thanks to Anthony McIntyre) of Jo Nesbo and having read almost all the Harry Hole series and some stand alone books I was over the moon to get my hands on his latest, Macbeth. l did not realise at the time of buying that this was part of the publishers Hogart Shakespeare's project, where modern novelists are invited to revisit and put their own take on his most celebrated works.
As a twelve /thirteen year old I had to study Macbeth and Julius Caesar in St Marys CBS and it didn't take long to catch on that Nesbo was indeed putting his twist on this Scottish play, Duncan Duff, Malcom, witches etc. Now Caesar was understandable in terms of plot action historical context etc, but to me Macbeth was Shakespeare on drugs, and bad ones at that.
Maybe l'm a simple soul and other than lust and quest for power some of the decisions made by Macbeth who in this yarn is the much loved leader of a police SWAT team and thoroughly decent person (well apart from the old drug habit) so how he allows his "flame haired Lady to talk him into this journey of madness is l suppose the stuff that makes nightmares come true.
Nesbo takes us to a place - the area is Fife but the action takes place in the district described as a run down industrial town, a grim place where it always "rains, and soot and poison lie like a constant lid over the town."
The action begins almost from the start and its not long before we are brought to that deep dark place Shakespeare touched upon and where Nesbo with his now well established ability as a modern crime writer takes the reader. Murder mayhem drugs etc,#. if your a fan of Shakespeare l don't think this will disappoint you.
Nesbo has produced a modern version of the "Scottish play" but it is every bit as dark and scary as the original...
Marty Flynn is a Belfast republican who has actively campaigned for prisoners' rights.