Harry Hole series, #3 U.S. release
October 2, 2012 / ISBN 978-0307960474
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
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
Redbreast, No 3
Devil’s Star, No 5