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The Redbreast
Harry Hole Series, No 3
Jo Nesbø

September 2011 / ISBN 978-0062068422
Thriller / Crime Fiction

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Harry Hole is a Norwegian police investigator who is assigned with others to keep the visiting President safe. When an American Secret Service agent is wounded due to a lack in communication, Harry and his partner, Ellen, rush the agent to the hospital. As a result, Harry is promoted to a new position in the Norwegian Secret Service, assigned to investigate neo-Nazi movements in Norway. Then Harry learns that a rare and powerful rifle was purchased by a possible assassination and his subsequent investigation leads him to a crime that has originations in the battlefields of WWII's Eastern Front.

The Redbreast opens with a tense scene, introduces Harry and several other current characters, and then travels back in time to 1942 to the Russian front. The chapters are brief, switching from the present to the past during the first hundred pages or so, but this only adds to the dark mystery and urgency conveyed in Harry’s attempts to prevent a future assassination attempt. Harry is a determined character, gruff on the outside, yet strong despite his drinking tendencies. He knows how to get a job done, and his actions lead us at a breathless pace to a thrilling climax.

Norway is quite proud of Jo Nesbø, and I understand why The Redbreast is considered the Best Norwegian Crime Novel ever. The author masterfully weaves the past and present together in a tense, fast-paced novel that held me in its relentless grip until the very end. This is the third book in the series, and the first one I've read. Even though I missed the initial releases revealing Harry Hole’s background, it wasn't hard to figure out the gist of Harry’s resilient, unwavering character. As I finished the last page, I longed to read more of Harry’s exploits.

Other Reviews in this series

Nemesis, No 4 [review]
The Devil’s Star, No 5 [review]

Reviewer's Notes: Translated into English by Don Bartlett

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011