I thought I might have written about the first Jo Nesbo book I read, but it appears I haven’t. I don’t know much about Jo Nesbo, other than the fact he pronounces his name “Yo”, rather than “Joe”, being Norwegian, which I think is a cool name. This is the second book in his series about detective Harry Hole who works in the Oslo police investigating murders. Well, according to something I read, these are actually the 3rd and 4th books, but the first two weren’t translated into English.
The covers of most of his books have a sticker saying “The next Stieg Larsson”, which probably helps his sales figures a lot, being able to cash in on the success of “The girl with the dragon tattoo” et al. They do have a bit in common, in terms of being translated Norwegian books about investigators who are misfits. But other than that, they differ quite a bit.
Harry is a mostly former alcoholic, a detective who does things his own way and doesn’t really get on with most of the police force (now that I write that, it doesn’t sound very original, but it does work, honest). In this second book, he is brought in by the robberies unit because a bank robbery included the murder of a cashier, and an ex-girlfriend commits suicide hours after he is the last one to see her alive. The book entwines the 2 investigations as he pursues the truth through a complex and tortuous path.
I really liked this book, as I liked the first one (Redbreast). Nesbo’s characters are nearly all misfits in some way, from the police to the suspects. There’s not a lot of happiness in his world. But the books are real page-turners, and I sat up fairly late a few nights this week wanting to get to the end.
I’m not a major reader of crime fiction, but I like this. Recommended!