97. Phantom by Jo Nesbo

Phantom by Jo Nesbo. Translated by Don Bartlett (US) - (Canada)
Harry Hole, #9

Pages: 452
Ages: 18+
Finished: Apr. 1, 2012
First Published: Mar. 20, 2012 Canada (Oct. 2, 2012, USA)
Publisher: Random House Canada
Genre: Mystery, Thriller,
Rating: 5/5

First sentence: "The squeals were calling her."

Publisher's Summary: "Summer. A boy, Gusto, is lying on the floor of an Oslo apartment. He is bleeding and will soon die. He is trying to make sense of what has happened. In order to place his life and death in some kind of context he begins to tell his story. Outside, the church bells chime.

Autumn. Former police detective Harry Hole returns to Oslo after 3 years abroad. He seeks out his former boss at police headquarters to request permission to investigate a homicide. But the case is already closed; a young junkie, Gusto, was in all likelihood shot by a pal in a conflict over drugs. Harry is granted permission to visit the accused boy in prison. There, he meets himself and his own history. It's the start of a solitary investigation of the most impossible case in Harry Hole's life. And while Harry is searching, Gusto continues his story. A man walks the dark streets of nighttime Oslo. The streets are his and he has always been there. He is a phantom."

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Wow!  I hardly know what to say about the 9th Harry Hole book.  It is dark, gritty and goes to depths of unbelievable character with the main character in this series.  The story is action-packed, full of twists, and shocker upon shocker, one of which will leave you numb; it is so unexpected and incredible.  This book is equal parts personal story and the actual mystery case.  They are so intertwined that it's impossible to separate the two.  DO NOT read this book, if you have not read any other Harry Hole books.  These books are recommended to be read in order as Harry develops as a character and his life is part of  a continuing story that runs through the books.  That said I haven't read two of the earlier books, or the two not yet released in English, The Bat is coming in Oct 2012 to the UK (which means Canada, too!) but my recommendation is that at least "The Snowman" onwards must be read in order or you'll miss a great connection between the storylines.

This book is just absolutely fantastic.  At just over 450 pgs, I had the book read in 2 days because I just could not put the thing down.  If you are a Harry Hole fan, get yourself caught up with the series and READ THIS BOOK!  Tremendous!  Very dark throughout with a dark ending but this is what Harry Hole fans expect. 

Looking at Nesbo's website, he doesn't have any new titles in the works at the moment but fortunately, I have a few back titles left still to read and he has a few other books that have not been translated into English yet either including a short children's novel, a non-fiction title, and a short story collection (yes!).  Can we have these too please, Mr & Mrs Publishers?!


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