A headhunter speaks

Tuesday, 9 October, 2012

“When I nominate someone for a top job in business, height is one of my most important criteria. Height instils respect, trust and authority. Tall people are visible, they can’t hide, they are masters, all nastiness air-blasted away, they have to stand up and be counted. Short people move around in the sediment, they have a hidden plan, an agenda, which revolves around the fact that they are short.”

So speaks Roger Brown, the protagonist in Headhunters by Jo Nesbø, the best-selling Norwegian thriller writer. The charming Roger seems to have it all. He is Norway’s most successful headhunter, he has a beautiful wife, he owns a spectacular house — and he is spending more money than he has in the bank. How can Roger afford such an extravagant lifestyle? He’s a villain, that’s how. All changes when, one evening at the opening of an art exhibition, his wife introduces him to a mysterious Dutchman, who brings two vital things to the table: the perfect CV for the vacant position of CEO of a hot high-tech Norwegian company, and reputed possession of the original Calydonian Boar Hunt by Peter Paul Rubens, stolen by the Nazis during their occupation of Norway.
Jo Nesbø seems to know everything about everything, and he can deploy his knowledge expertly and slickly.

Headhunters is great entertainment, and along the way one picks up some very useful information about the recruitment business, the art market and how curare poisoning works.


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