Synopses & Reviews
From one of the most celebrated crime writers in Europe comes an epic new novel, brilliant in scope and design—a deep and fearless investigation of betrayal spanning two centuries and three continents.
Police Detective Harry Hole has made a terrible mistake. An embarrassment in the line of duty has pulled him off his usual beat. Reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks, he reluctantly agrees to monitor neo-Nazi activities in Oslo. But as Hole is drawn into an underground world of illegal gun trafficking, brutal beatings, and sexual extortions, he soon learns that he must act fast to prevent an international conspiracy from unfolding.
Trapped in the crosshairs of the man with all the answers, Harry Hole plunges headlong into a mystery with roots deep in the past. His investigation takes him back to Norway's darkest hour—when members of the young nation's government collaborated with leaders of Nazi Germany. Dredging up a painful history of denial, Hole turns his attention to the Norwegian troops who fought for Adolf Hitler on the Eastern front. Branded by their countrymen as traitors, the soldiers who survived the brutal Russian winter—the hunger, fear, cold, grenades, and snipers—returned home as scapegoats of a nation's atonement. Sixty years later, old grudges and betrayals appear to have been laid to rest, until Hole realizes that someone has begun to pick off the surviving soldiers one by one.
With only his troubled, guilt-ridden conscience as a guide, Hole must move quickly through the traps and mirrors of a twisted criminal mind. But as his sanity slips in a slow burn of anger and alcohol, his mistakes continue to pile up. And if he fails to quicken the pace, Norway's darkest hour since World War II just might lie in the future.
In a tightly woven plot that takes readers from the icy steppes of the Russian front to a seemingly peaceful springtime in modern-day Oslo, Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø delves into a sinister national history with uncommon bravery. Transforming shades of moral gray into an explosive palette of characters, Nesbø holds readers in suspense until the final pages. His deft orchestration of parallel narratives knows no match in the genre, and his thematic reach exceeds even the most ambitious thrillers on the market. With the U.S. publication of The Redbreast, American readers will learn what European readers have known for a decade—that Nesbø's writing is "quite simply brilliant" (Weekend-Avisen, Denmark).
"Shifting effortlessly between the last days of WWII on the Eastern front and modern day Oslo, Norwegian Nesbø (The Devil's Star) spins a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. A recovering alcoholic recently reassigned to the Norwegian Security Service, Insp. Harry Hole begins tracking Sverre Olsen, a vicious neo-Nazi who escaped prosecution on a technicality. But what starts as a quest to put Olsen behind bars soon explodes into a race to prevent an assassination. As Hole struggles to stay one step ahead of Olsen and his gang of skinheads, Nesbø takes the reader back to WWII, as Norwegians fighting for Hitler wage a losing battle on the Eastern front. When the two story lines finally collide, it's up to Hole to stop a man hell-bent on carrying out the deadly plan he hatched half a century ago in the trenches. Perfectly paced and painfully suspenseful, this crime novel illuminates not only Norway's alleged Nazi ties but also its present skinhead subculture. Readers will delight in Hole, a laconic hero as doggedly stubborn as Connelly's Harry Bosch, and yet with a prickly appeal all his own." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Exciting, witty, melancholy and thought-provoking.” Daily Telegraph (London)
“[A] bold, ambitious thriller.” Kirkus Reviews
“Original…demands concentration but its worth the effort.” Literary Review
“Reading THE REDBREAST is like watching a hit movie. Author Jo Nesbos 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.” USA Today
“Certainly ranks with the best of current American crime fiction.” Washington Post Book World
“Paced to grip and twiddle with your insides, this is a fine thriller.” Sunday Sport
“An elegant and complex thriller . . . Ingenious design. . . . Harrowingly beautiful scenes.” New York Times Book 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.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An elegant and complex thriller….Harrowingly beautiful.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A hugely impressive achievement—ambitious in scope, and skilled in execution.”
—Los Angeles Times
“The Redbreast certainly ranks with the best of current American crime fiction.”
No disrespect meant to Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, but Jo Nesbø, the New York Times bestselling author of The Snowman, is the most exciting Scandinavian thriller writer in the crime fiction business. The Redbreast is a fabulous introduction to Nesbøs tough-as-nails series protagonist, Oslo police detective Harry Hole. A brilliant and epic novel, breathtaking in its scope and design—winner of The Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel and selected as the best Norwegian crime novel ever written by members of Norways book clubs—The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal that ranges from the battlefields of World War Two to the streets of modern-day Oslo. Follow Hole as he races to stop a killer and disarm a ticking time-bomb from his nations shadowy past. Vogue magazine says that “nobody can delve into the dark, twisted mind of a murderer better than a Scandinavian thriller writer”…and nobody does it better than Jo Nesbø! James Patterson fans should also take note.
About the Author
Jo NesbØ is a musician, songwriter, economist, and author. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Glass Key, the Riverton Prize, and the Booksellers' Prize, and Norwegian readers voted one of his Harry Hole novels the best Norwegian crime novel of all time. He lives in Oslo.