Helga, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Helga)
I haven't even finished this book, but I must say, it is extremely well-written (there must be a better descriptive than that) and yes, Harry Hole is an absorbing and fascinating character as the detective. It is so well written that you can feel and taste the very fabric of this narrative. It demands to be read with complete absorption, so don't make the mistake of taking it to the beach with you this summer... it would be a waste of a perfectly good beach. You might miss your entire vacay! The ability of this author to draw you in, quite literally, is breath taking.
Enough. I'm going back to one of the best mystery books I have read in a very long time. And I read a LOT of them.
Artist, April 22, 2012 (view all comments by Artist)
Jo Nesbø is known for his crime novels about my new favorite Detective Harry Hole, of the Oslo Crime Squad. "Red Breast" isn't even his first novel, but it is the first Nesbø novel I've read. I loved Steig Larsson, and so, at the suggestion of my sister and following the Scandinavian theme, I started on the Harry Hole series. I'm currently reading "The Leopard" which is every bit as riveting. (It doesn't really matter if you go out of the sequence since one book doesn't rely on a knowledge of the previous one.) I don't know how Nesbø stayed off my radar so long since he's sold close to two million copies of his novels in Norway, but there you are. There are even walking tours of the fictitious detective's haunts around Oslo.
What makes Harry Hole so attractive? He's cut from a classic American (1930's) mold; a loner, with lots of flaws, including use of illegal substances, trouble with maintaining a relationship with women, insubordination, and the tendency toward depression one expects of tragic heroes. Like Stieg Larsson's hero Mikael Blomkvist he is fully committed to ending the activities of extremely bad men, but unlike Blomkvist, he struggles with his own personal demons as well as with the expectations of his career and subtle threads of corruption that are part of a continuing theme in the two books I've read. Nesbø is a brilliant plotter and everything comes together in the end of each of these books in a highly satisfying way.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
by Literary Review,
"Original...demands concentration but it's worth the effort."
by Daily Telegraph (London),
"Exciting, witty, melancholy and thought-provoking."
by Sunday Sport,
"Paced to grip and twiddle with your insides, this is a fine thriller."
by USA Today,
"Reading The Redbreast is like watching a hit movie. Author Jo Nesbo's scenes are so vivid that you can imagine them playing across the big screen. The pacing is swift. The plot is precise and intricate. The characters are intriguing."
by New York Times Book Review,
"An elegant and complex thriller....Harrowingly beautiful scenes."
by Washington Post Book World,
"Certainly ranks with the best of current American crime fiction."
by Publishers Weekly (starred review),
"Shifting effortlessly between the last days of WWII on the Eastern front and modern day Oslo, Norwegian Nesbø spins a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal....Perfectly paced and painfully suspenseful."
"A hugely impressive achievement...ambitious in scope, and skilled in execution." Los Angeles Times
by Harper Collins,
Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins hes been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norways dark past, when members of the government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. More than sixty years later, this black mark wont wash away—and disgraced old soldiers who once survived a brutal Russian winter are being murdered, one by one. Now, with only a stained and guilty conscience to guide him, an angry, alcoholic, error-prone policeman must make his way safely past the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. For a conspiracy is taking rapid and hideous shape around Hole... and Norways darkest hour may be still to come.
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