Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
Harry Hole series, Book 4
Finished: Jan. 30, 2009
First Published: May 6, 2008
Genre: crime, mystery
Reason for Reading: Book was sent to me for review by Random House Canada. Paperback is available this month.
I'm going to die.
Comments: 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!