Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Harry Hole series, #3 U.S. release
Jo Nesbø

October 2, 2012 / ISBN 978-0307960474
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

Former police detective Harry Hole has returned to Oslo determined to prove that his ex-girlfriend’s teenage son is innocent of a drug related murder that the police are convinced the teen committed. After a 3 year absence, Harry is thrust back into an Oslo that is dark, gang infested and where the drug culture is pervasive. As we follow Harry’s journey, the author uses both the first and third person narrative format to navigate the murder mystery and Harry’s quest to exonerate the teen.

The first person narrative is from the perspective of the murder victim as an active participant that takes us into the workings of the drug lords and gangs. The third person narrative follows Harry as he tracks clues and interviews various characters in his quest to prove the teen’s innocence. What unfolds is a journey into the world of drug dealers and users told from two different but converging paths that intersect at the end. Along the way, we are shown police corruption, strange characters and the rise of Russian immigrant gang lords. And things are not what they seem to be, especially at the conclusion of the novel.

I like the inter-lacing of the first and third person narrative structure throughout the novel that presents more nuances and differing perspectives into how and why the murder happened. There is contrast of the driven naivety, cleverness and certainty of the murdered drug pusher (1st person) and the tortured, driven Harry (3rd person) as the private investigator. The dialog is crisp and the character interaction compelling.

Jo Nesbø continues the very fine tradition of recent Scandinavian mystery writers (Henning Merckel, Stieg Larsson and Karin Fossum, to name a few) in presenting a world and culture to which few of us are acquainted.

Reviews of other titles by this author

The Redbreast, No 3
Nemesis, No 4
The Devil’s Star, No 5

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2012