Detective Harry Hole must use his maverick methods once again as he investigates a slew of brutal bank robberies and the suspicious suicide of a female artist in this clever and harrowing installment in the Harry Hole series from the author of The Snowman.
“Nesbo’s storytelling abilities are incomparable. Nemesis is crime novel as art form and great entertainment.”—USA Today
Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier's head, and tells her to count to twenty-five. When he doesn't get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.
After a drunken evening with former girlfriend Anna Bethsen, Police Detective Harry Hole wakes up at home with a headache, no cell phone, and no memory of the past twelve hours. The same day, Anna is found shot dead in her bedroom, making Hole a prime suspect in the investigation led by his hated adversary, Tom Waaler. Meanwhile, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery, sending rogue detective Hole from the streets of Oslo to steaming Brazil in a race to close two cases and clear his name. But Waaler isn't finished with his longtime nemesis quite yet.
About the Author
A musician, songwriter, and economist, Jo Nesbø is also one of Europe’s most acclaimed crime writers, and is the winner of the Glass Key Award, northern Europe’s most prestigious crime-fiction prize, for his first novel featuring Police Detective Harry Hole. Nesbø lives in Oslo.
Read an Excerpt
I’m going to die. And it makes no sense. That wasn’t the plan, not my plan, anyway. I may have been heading this way all the time without realising. It wasn’t my plan. My plan was better. My plan made sense.
I’m staring down the muzzle of a gun and I know that’s where it will come from. The messenger of death. The ferryman. Time for a last laugh. If you can see light at the end of the tunnel, it may be a spit of flame. Time for a last tear. We could have turned this life into something good, you and I. If we had followed the plan. One last thought. Everyone asks what the meaning of life is, but no one asks about the meaning of death.
The old man reminded Harry of an astronaut. The comical short steps, the stiff movements, the dead, black eyes and the shoes shuffling along the parquet floor. As if he were frightened to lose contact with the ground and float away into space.
Harry looked at the clock on the white wall above the exit. 15.16. Outside the window, in Bogstadveien, the Friday crowds hurry past. The low October sun is reflected in the wing mirror of a car driving away in the rush hour.
Harry concentrated on the old man. Hat plus elegant grey overcoat in dire need of a clean. Beneath it: tweed jacket, tie and worn grey trousers with a needle-sharp crease. Polished shoes, down at the heel. One of those pensioners of whom Majorstuen seems to be full. This wasn’t conjecture. Harry knew that August Schulz was eighty-one years old and an ex-clothes retailer who had lived all his life in Majorstuen, apart from a period he spent inAuschwitz during the War. And the stiff knees were the result of a fall from a Ringveien footbridge which he used on his daily visits to his daughter. The impression of a mechanical doll was reinforced by the fact that his arms were bent perpendicularly at the elbow and thrust forward. A brown walking stick hung over his right forearm and his left hand gripped a bank giro he was holding out for the short-haired young man at position number 2. Harry couldn’t see the face of the cashier, but he knew he was staring at the old man with a mixture of sympathy and irritation.
It was 15.17 now, and finally it was August Schulz’s turn.
Stine Grette sat at position number 1, counting out 730 Norwegian kroner for a boy in a blue woollen hat who had just given her a money order. The diamond on the ring finger of her left hand glistened as she placed each note on the counter.
Harry couldn’t see, but he knew that in front of position number 3 there was a woman with a pram, which she was rocking, probably to distract herself, as the child was asleep. The woman was waiting to be served by fru Brænne, who was loudly explaining to a man on the telephone that he couldn’t charge someone else’s account unless the account holder had signed an agreement to that effect. She also informed him that she worked in the bank, and he didn’t, so on that note perhaps they should bring the discussion to a close.
At that moment the door opened and two men, one tall, the other short, wearing the same overalls, strode into the bank. Stine Grette looked up. Harry checked his watch and began to count. The men ran over to the corner where Stine was sitting. The tall man moved as if he were stepping over puddles, while the little one had the rolling gait of someone who has acquired more muscle than he can accommodate. The boy in the blue hat turned slowly and began to walk towards the exit, so preoccupied with counting money that he didn’t see the two men.
‘Hello,’ the tall man said to Stine, banging down a black case on the counter. The little one pushed his reflector sunglasses in place, walked forward and deposited an identical case beside it. ‘Money!’ he said in a high-pitched squeak. ‘Open the door!’
It was like pressing the pause button: all movement in the bank froze. The only indication that time hadn’t stood still was the traffic outside the window. And the second hand on the clock, which now showed that ten seconds had passed. Stine pressed a button under her desk. There was a hum of electronics, and the little man pressed the counter door against the wall with his knee.
‘Who’s got the key?’ he asked. ‘Quick, we haven’t got all day!’
‘Helge!’ Stine shouted over her shoulder.
‘What?’ The voice came from inside the open door of the only office in the bank.
‘We’ve got visitors, Helge!’
A man with a bow tie and reading glasses appeared.
‘These gentlemen want you to open the ATM, Helge,’ Stine said.
Helge Klementsen stared vacantly at the two men dressed in overalls, who were now on his side of the counter. The tall one glanced nervously at the front door while the little one had his eyes fixed on the branch manager.
‘Oh, right. Of course,’ Helge gasped, as if he had just remembered a missed appointment, and burst into a peal of frenetic laughter.
Harry didn’t move a muscle; he simply let his eyes absorb every detail of their movements and gestures. Twenty-five seconds. He continued to look at the clock above the door, but from the corner of his eye he could see the branch manager unlocking the ATM from the inside, taking out two oblong metal dispensers and handing them over to the two men. The whole thing took place at high speed and in silence. Fifty seconds.
‘These are for you, pop!’ The little man had taken two similar metal dispensers from his case and held them out for Helge. The branch manager swallowed, nodded, took them and slotted them into the ATM.
‘Have a good weekend!’ the little one said, straightening his back and grabbing the case. One and a half minutes.
‘Not so fast,’ Helge said.
The little one stiffened.
Harry sucked in his cheeks and tried to concentrate.
‘The receipt . . .’ Helge said.
For one protracted moment the two men stared at the small, grey-haired branch manager. Then the little one began to laugh. Loud, reedy laughter with a piercing, hysterical overtone, the way people on speed laugh. ‘You don’t think we were going to leave here without a signature, do you? Hand over two million without a receipt!’
‘Well,’ Helge said. ‘One of you almost forgot last week.’
‘There are so many new bods on deliveries at the moment,’ the little one said, as he and Helge signed and exchanged yellow and pink forms.
Harry waited for the front door to close again before looking at the clock once more. Two minutes and ten seconds.
Through the glass in the door he could see the white Nordea security van drive away.
Conversations between the people in the bank resumed. Harry didn’t need to count, but he still did. Seven. Three behind the counter and four in front, including the baby and the man in overalls who had just come in and was standing by the table in the middle of the room, writing his account number on a payment slip. Harry knew it was for Sunshine Tours.
‘Good afternoon,’ August Schulz said and began to shuffle in the direction of the front door.
The time was exactly 15.21.10, and that was the moment the whole thing started.
When the door opened, Harry saw Stine Grette’s head bob up from her papers and drop down. Then she raised her head again, slowly this time. Harry’s attention moved to the front door. The man who had come in had already pulled down the zip of his boiler suit and whipped out a black-and-olive-green AG3. A navy blue balaclava completely covered his face, apart from his eyes. Harry started to count from zero.
The balaclava began to move where the mouth would have been, like a Bigfoot doll: ‘This is a hold-up. Nobody move!’
He hadn’t raised his voice, but in the small, compact bank building it was as if a cannon had gone off. Harry studied Stine. Above the distant drone of traffic he could hear the smooth click of greased metal as the man cocked the gun. Her left shoulder sank, almost imperceptibly.
Brave girl, Harry thought. Or maybe just frightened out of her wits. Aune, the psychology lecturer at Oslo Police College, had told them that when people are frightened enough they stop thinking and act the way they have been programmed. Most bank employees press the silent robbery alarm almost in shock, Aune maintained, citing post-robbery debriefings where many could not remember whether they had activated the alarm or not. They had been on autopilot. In just the same way as a bank robber has programmed himself to shoot anyone trying to stop him, Aune said. The more frightened the bank robber is, the less chance anyone has of making him change his mind. Harry was rigid as he tried to fix on the bank robber’s eyes. Blue.
The robber unhitched a black holdall and threw it over the counter. The man in black took six paces to the counter door, perched on the top edge and swung his legs over to stand directly behind Stine, who was sitting still with a vacant expression. Good, Harry thought. She knows her instructions; she is not provoking a reaction by staring at the robber.
The man pointed the barrel of the gun at Stine’s neck, leaned forward and whispered in her ear.
She hadn’t panicked yet, but Harry could see Stine’s chest heaving; her fragile frame seemed to be struggling for air under the now very taut white blouse. Fifteen seconds.
She cleared her throat. Once. Twice. Finally her vocal cords came to life:
‘Helge. Keys for the ATM.’ The voice was low and hoarse, completely unrecognisable from the one which had articulated almost the same words three minutes earlier.
Harry couldn’t see him, but he knew that Helge had heard what the robber had said and was already standing in the office doorway.
‘Quick, or else . . .’ Her voice was hardly audible and in the following pause all that could be heard in the bank were the soles of August Schulz’s shoes on the parquet flooring, like a couple of brushes swishing against the drum skin in an immeasurably slow shuffle.
‘. . . he’ll shoot me.’
Harry looked out of the window. There was often a car outside, engine running, but he couldn’t see one. Only a blur of passing cars and people.
‘Helge . . .’ Her voice was imploring.
Come on, Helge, Harry urged. He knew quite a bit about the ageing bank manager, too. Harry knew that he had two standard poodles, a wife and a recently jilted pregnant daughter waiting for him at home. They had packed and were ready to drive to their mountain chalet as soon as Helge returned. At precisely this moment Helge felt he was submerged in water, in the kind of dream where all your movements slow down however much you try to hurry. Then he came into Harry’s field of vision. The bank robber had swung Stine’s chair round so that he was behind her, but now faced Helge. Like a frightened child who has to feed a horse, Helge stood back and held out the bunch of keys, his arm stretched to the limit. The masked man whispered in Stine’s ear as he turned the machine gun on Helge, who took two unsteady steps backwards.
Stine cleared her throat: ‘He says open the ATM and put the money in the black holdall.’
In a daze, Helge stared at the gun pointing at him.
‘You’ve got twenty-five seconds before he shoots. Not you. Me.’
Helge’s mouth opened and closed as though he wanted to say something.
‘Now, Helge,’ Stine said.
Thirty seconds had passed since the hold-up began. August Schulz had almost reached the front door. The branch manager fell to his knees in front of the ATM and contemplated the bunch of keys. There were four of them.
‘Twenty seconds left,’ Stine’s voice rang out.
Majorstuen police station, Harry thought. The patrol cars are on their way. Eight blocks away. Friday rush hour.
With trembling fingers, Helge took one key and inserted it in the lock. It got stuck halfway. He pressed harder.
‘But . . .’ he began.
Helge pulled out the key and tried one of the others. It went in, but wouldn’t turn.
‘My God . . .’
‘Thirteen. Use the one with the bit of green tape, Helge.’
Klementsen stared at the bunch of keys as though seeing them for the first time.
The third key went in. And round. He pulled open the door and turned towards Stine and the man.
‘There is one more lock to open . . .’
‘Nine!’ Stine yelled.
Helge sobbed as he ran his fingers across the jagged edges of the keys, no longer able to see, using the edges as Braille to tell him which key was the right one.
Harry listened carefully. No police sirens yet. August Schulz grasped the handle of the front door.
There was a metallic clunk as the bunch of keys hit the floor.
‘Five,’ Stine whispered.
The door opened and the sounds from the street flooded into the bank. Harry thought he could hear the familiar dying lament in the distance. It rose again. Police sirens. Then the door closed.
Harry closed his eyes and counted to two.
‘There we are!’ It was Helge shouting. He had opened the second lock and now he was half-standing, pulling at the jammed dispensers. ‘Let me just get the money out! I–’
He was interrupted by a piercing shriek. Harry peered towards the other end of the bank where a woman stood staring in horror at the motionless bank robber pressing the gun into Stine’s neck. She blinked twice and mutely nodded her head in the direction of the pram as the child’s scream rose in pitch.
Helge almost fell backwards as the first dispenser came free. He pulled over the black holdall. Within six seconds all the money was in. Klementsen zipped up the holdall as instructed and stood by the counter. Everything had been communicated via Stine; her voice sounded surprisingly steady and calm now.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, Nesbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.
Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as well as his new love relationship and the death of his partner, finds himself caught up in trying to solve a murderous bank robbery while trying to convince his superiors that his partner's death is - contrary to their belief - still unsolved and that he should be allowed to pursue an investigation into it.
This is a compelling entry in the series, with rich characterizations and impeccable plotting.
The only thing that readers should be aware of is that the novels of the series published in English thus far have been translated and published out of sequence; this is actually the second book of the series, though it's come out in English third, and the plot line about his partner's murder was resolved in the third book - which was actually the second (last) one published in English (The Devil's Star)) Did you follow that?
If so, dig in and enjoy.
This book has gotten some rave reviews and I hate to knock it but I didn't get it. I followed along as Harry Hole (the investigator) tries to deal with his personal life and the work (solving a bank robbery). Maybe, it was the translation from Norwegian that lost me. Everyone else who has reviewed it felt the drama and the suspense of this character driven novel, but I didn't. I read it to the end, but will not pick up Jo Nesbo's next book.
I've seen great reviews for Jo Nesbo, but I couldn't make it through this book. The story never became interesting, and the writing was equally dull, at times nonsensical. A couple scenes left me wondering if years had passed or a few hours. A dog lunges at a man's throat but bites him on the neck instead. What does that even mean? I suspect the translation is at fault, but I wish I hadn't purchased this.
Fair, didn't paticularly care for any of the characters. Plot ok, writing ok, initial approach was original
Easy reading, good plot, surprising characteres (even more if you met some of them at "The Redbreast") and something that I realy like in a mystery book - not easy to find ending :).
Very interesting characters, but not too much mystery. I am likely to read another by this author.
I wecomed another Scandanavian mystery after reading all of Sweden's Henning Mankell.Like Kurt Wallander Jo Nesbo's hero is also depressed with lousey social skills. The fun is getting into their heads and working out the puzzles. lean writing and advancing plotting. No wasted words.
Suspensful. Makes you want to read more.
Came across this author by accident. I have read 2 of the Harry Hole books so far and have a third on tap. Will more than likely continue to read the series. The author's writing style and story telling runs along smoothly. A decent read if you like crime/detective stories.
There have now been several Harry Hole novels, but this was only the second to be published in the United States (the first was "The Redbreast"). Both demonstrate the author's uncanny ability to continually lead the reader astray with one red herring after another before disclosing, in a final twist, a most unexpected dénouement. In the present novel, these principles apply to two separate story lines. One involves a bank robbery in which a woman is shot in the head. The other finds a woman with whom Harry had a short affair shot in her bed the day after Harry had dinner at her home (but he can't remember a thing about the evening). In fact, there are clues implicating him in the deed and in fact, the cover asks the question: "How do you catch a killer when you're the number one suspect?" The translation by Don Bartlett from the Norwegian flows smoothly. The novel was a number one best-seller in Norway, spending 39 weeks on the best seller list. Past novels from this author saw Bangkok and Australia as settings, and the next to Hong Kong – Harry certainly gets around! Highly recommended.
Jo Nesbo does an excellent job of writing out a story that is easy to follow and interesting. The thrilling nature of the novel makes you want to keep turning the next page to find out what is going to happen to Detective Hole next. The only downside I have with the book is that the story is well thought out, but the ending seemed somewhat rushed. Overall a very good read! I would recommend to anyone.
This book is impossible to summarize. The story is incredibly intricate and several cases intertwine with each other. The back of my paperback copy gives a plot outline which really only deals with the second half of the book. Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective and he is called onto a case involving a bank robbery where a hostage is killed in cold blood. Later on he receives a call for a date from an old flame and wakes up the next morning remembering nothing only to find out she was murdered sometime that evening. These two cases take the forefront and many, many things twist and turn before the final outcome. I love a mystery that I cannot guess whodunit before the reveal. I had my guesses but they were wrong.While the plot and the story is intense the characterization is wonderful. Harry is a flawed man, a recovering alcoholic with a great relationship in progress. He is not exactly everybody's favourite at the station as he has his own way of doing things and often disregards procedure.Jo Nesbo has, I think, finally crossed the line between mystery and literature. While a great crime novel it is also a beautifully written and deeply profound story of characters. I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more from Nesbo. I just wish they would publish the series in the order it was written. So far they have published the English translations in this order #5, #3, #4 and #6 will published in English later this year. Recommended!
It is a busy Friday afternoon in October in Oslo. The bank robber is wearing a boiler suit and a balaclava, and is brandishing a gun. He whispers instructions to the female cashier for the ATM to be opened and unloaded. Less than 90 seconds later she is dead, executed. The aging, frantic bank manager has taken too long to open the ATM and the gunman carries out his threat to kill her, despite the fact that he now has the money, two million kroner. He then disappears without trace into the crowded street.It's been a year since Detective Harry Hole's partner Ellen Gjelten was killed, and Harry has rejoined the Crime Squad and is part of the team investigating the bank murder. A newcomer to the squad is an expert in gaining information from video footage. In the course of the investigation she becomes Harry's new partner.The Harry Hole we first met in THE DEVIL'S STAR and then again in REDBREAST is dealing with his alcoholism and has been semi-successful in giving up smoking. Just now though, he's on his own, because his girlfriend Rakel and her young son have gone to Russia to fight a custody battle. Harry accepts an invitation to coffee from an old flame Anna, and then finds himself at home without any recollection of how he got there. Then he hears that Anna is dead. Harry is not at all sure that he might not have killed her, although the police investigation concludes suicide.When the bank robbery investigation is stalled, it is decided to try a new tack. Harry and his new partner Beate will be allowed to work on their own. This suits Harry down to the ground as he feels stifled by having to follow orders. A break through leads them to believe they know who the bank robber is. Nevertheless they still need proof and the bank robberies continue - but are they the real thing, or copy-cats?The remarkable thing for me about NEMESIS is that just when you believe everything is stitched up, Nesbo reminds you of something you forgot, and roller coaster ride takes off again. The other thing that I noticed is that I have a much better idea of what Harry looks like than I did after the earlier two novels - that is probably a bit trivial, but it is also very satisfying. I also liked Harry's new partner Beate Lonn and the relationship that is building between them.Harry Hole is not just a Norwegian version of the other "modern" loose cannons in crime fiction: Rankin's John Rebus, Wingfield's Jack Frost, and Mankell's Kurt Wallander to name few. Sure he shares some of their problems - the alcoholism, tobacco addiction, poor social relationships, and a workaholic to boot. But, at just under 40, he is younger than them, with much of his career before him, and for me each novel is defining him more clearly.NEMESIS is the 3rd of Jo Nesbo's highly acclaimed novels to be translated from Norwegian into English and it is well worth while to try to read them in order. Just to make things tricky, look for THE DEVIL'S STAR and then REDBREAST (this is not their translation order). You will see from Nesbo's own website that there are in fact many more Harry Hole books - let's just hope we see them in English. He is certainly a crime fiction writer to treasure. [Visit his website too and read extracts in English, or sign up for his newsletter]
A bank robbery connects to the detective's ex-lover's suicide. Very clever.
Nemisis is the book that follows The Redbreast and it is another great thriller from Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author that many call Norway's finest crime writer. I recommend Nesbo's books to anyone who loved the Stieg Larson millennium series.Detective Inspector Harry Hole is assigned to investigate a bank robbery while his girlfriend is away in Russia fighting for custody of her child. Harry also visits an old flame, Anna. After dinner at her flat, Harry wakes up at home with a blinding headache and no memory of the evening. Anna is found dead of a gunshot wound.While fighting his own demons, alcohol and his obsession with finding the killer of a former colleague and friend, Harry investigates both Anna's death and the continuing bank robberies.Highly recommended.
This is my third Harry Hole novel and I did enjoy it although I found, much like "Redbreast," that I was ahead of Harry annoyingly early. That said, Nesbo is a master at weaving various threads together and it is always a pleasure to follow the pattern. One of his strengths in the past was to subtlely highlight Norwegian society but that wasn't present this time, the effect of the attack on the World Trade Centre being the only running social comment and that wasn't mirrored in any way in the plot. There is over-reliance on coincidence across many levels albeit that tends to be the nature of the beast of crime fiction. It doesn't really distract.
Well written, all the right ingridients for police thriller - but just too many twists. This is really three separate mysteries rolled into one novel.
I would say that this is as close to the perfect crime thriller that you will get. An intricate plot so not necessarily for the casual reader, great characters with some lovely personlaity flaws, an ongoing problem for the main character and at least two crimes to solve at the same time. There is no shortage of excitement. Sure you will find yourself at times flicking back a few pages to check a couple of details but the author knows exactly where he is taking the story and the plot never feels contrived. Every time I read one of these books I am itching to read the next in the series straight away.
Nemesis is in part a meditation on revenge and retribution. As Norwegian Detective Harry Hole says to a fellow police officer, "Revenge and retribution. That¿s the driving force for the midget who was bullied at school and later became a multi-millionaire, and the bank robber who thinks he has been short-changed by society. And look at us. Society¿s burning revenge disguised as cold, rational retribution ¿ that¿s our profession, isn¿t it.¿Indeed, as Harry discovers, it was the Greek goddess named Nemesis who was the goddess of revenge, an act considered to be punishment by some, but implacable justice by others. The imposition of revenge in both its senses is the main theme of this book.The story concerns a string of bank robberies in Oslo including a murder during one of them, committed by an expert in the elimination of any clues. Some additional murders seem related, if by nothing else than by the unusual choice of guns used to commit them. When Harry Hole is on a case, nothing is predictable, and the story feels like a wild ride to an unexpected conclusion. And yet, when you think back on it, the crimes are only a vehicle for the character developments, even though they sneak up on you behind the excitement of the chase.Discussion: This is book two in the Detective Harry Hole series that have been translated (the two earliest books have not been translated), which English readers were, prior to this year, forced to read in order of translation rather than in the logical progression written by the author. As much as I hated reading the out of order, I thought this book was the best of all of them, so it worked out fine for me in the end.Harry Hole is a detective either loved or loathed by his co-workers. Fortunately, his boss, Bjarne Moller, is one of Harry¿s fans, even though he finds Harry to be an ¿alcoholic obstreperous, stubborn bastard.¿ He considers Harry a troublemaker and an arrogant bullhead, but one of his best investigators. It¿s a cost-benefit ratio with which Moller grudgingly abides.Harry is not thought of as blatantly handsome, but he seems to exude a great deal of sex appeal, and women in these books quickly come to overlook Harry's other lapses.It is in this book that we get to know most of the other ¿regulars¿ in the series as well. We meet Beate Lonn, a fellow officer who has a knack for facial recognition, and with whom Harry immediately bonds. We learn of the growing interest in Beate shown by Harry¿s officemate, Halverson, and the growing treachery of another of Harry¿s colleagues, Tom Waaler. And we see Harry¿s struggles to stay in a monogamous relationship with his new love Rakel, currently in Russia fighting for custody of her young son Oleg. All of these plot strands will reappear in later books, and it was fun, illuminating, and in some instances bittersweet to revisit these characters back in the beginning.Evaluation: Nesbo¿s books are intelligent, complicated, and immensely rewarding as a reading experience. There isn¿t one in the Harry Hole series I wouldn¿t recommend. But if you have the opportunity to read them in order, it will be much less confusing, and there won¿t be missing gaps in your appreciation of how events have turned out. I found Nemesis to be the least ¿standalone-esque¿ in this regard.
A much better book than the first. It drives me on to read more Harry Hole.
Harry Hole and the Bank Robber! Sounds like a kid`s adventure story. I was a big fan of ¿The Redbreast¿ and this is the follow-up, featuring tough, Norwegian cop Hole, (actually pronounced Who-La), on the trail of a very crafty and deadly hold-up guy.This is a dense thicket of frame-ups, murder, infidelities and intrepid police work, with the undercurrents of Harry¿s struggles with alcohol, relationships and various other demons. This is a good story, although it does get a bit convoluted, it is still one I recommend and a series I look forward to continuing.
I honestly didn't guess what was going on, but didn't feel that the author cheated by withholding information. Yay!
Unlike a zebra in a cow barn, Harry Hole is a detective that stands out in a crowd. Norwegian author Jo Nesbo¿s style has you drawn into the story before you even know what is happening. His characters struggle with life, relationships and personnel downfalls making all very believable. The plot is deceptively simple with twist and turns. The action has its readers in Oslo, Norway to Brazil as Harry follows the trail to capture the criminal. This mystery book will have you guessing all the way and in the end hungry for more.
Harry Hole is a detective in Oslo in a follow-up to REDBREAST. There are several storylines running. Harry is still trying to find out who killed Ellen, his partner, a case his boss deems a time-waster since the alleged killer was already shot and killed. When a bank robbery takes the life of a teller, Beate Lonn, a video specialist who just graduated from the Police College, is called in to analyze the video. Meanwhile Anna Bethsen, an artist and old flame of Harry¿s, calls him. Soon twelve hours of his life are missing and Anna is found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide. But Harry¿s cell phone is missing and he has a key to Anna¿s apartment. He doesn¿t believe Anna would commit suicide and when the M.E. finds a picture in her shoe, Harry feels it¿s a clue to who might have killed Anna. Raskal, Anna¿s uncle, is in prison and might hold a key to Anna¿s past as well as some insight into the top bank robbers in Oslo. But any information from him isn¿t free. Harry tries to cover his relationship with Anna but his archenemy on the force, Waaler, would love to bring Harry down a peg or two as Harry¿s cover-up starts to unravel. These cases are all interlocked in Harry¿s life, and although he still hasn¿t solved Ellen¿s murder, he is closing in on the real killer. Another top notch thriller and another series to be added to my ¿don¿t miss¿ list.
The second (I think) in the Harry Hole series. Nesbo continues to plot complex narratives set against a gloomy Oslo landscape. There are several ongoing crimes plus one from the first book that have to be resolved. While Harry's ongoing relationship with Rakel is backburned (while she is in Moscow resolving the custody issue of her son, he gets entangled with an old girlfriend who winds up dead (of course!). Harry is a prime suspect in her death and there are some who are happy to have him implicated. All the while he is trying to solve a grisly bank robbery/murder with a new associate, Beate (who has the uncanny, perhaps too convenient, ability to remember every face she's ever seen). Gypsies, brotherly rivalry, red herrings--lots to keep track of. Most is satisfactorily resolved; always good to keep a few loose threads to pick up in the next book....