Harry Hole

All posts tagged Harry Hole

The Thirst – Jo Nesbo

Published January 13, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled.
Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.
The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.
But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

What did I think?:

The Thirst is the second book in the Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2018 book club and how happy am I that they’ve picked this book?! Well, very happy I’ll tell you. I do love a bit of Jo Nesbo and have previously enjoyed a number of books in the Harry Hole series in my pre blogging days including The Redbreast, The Snowman and The Leopard. However, I’ve kind of got out of sync with the series and haven’t read any for the longest time. I’m a bit of a stickler for wanting to read things like this in order, as you might know but when Richard and Judy chose Jo Nesbo’s latest book featuring the stalwart and determined detective Harry Hole, I thought I would loosen my rules and regulations slightly and give it a go. I have to admit, I was a bit dubious at the start, especially as it has a certain “vampirish” element which isn’t really my bag (I was expecting some Twilight-esque horrors!) but after a mere fifty pages – WOW. I slipped right back into the author’s characteristic and entertaining writing style, was bowled over by the characters and plot and am determined to go back and re-visit the series, including any books I’ve missed along the way.

As with most thrillers, it would be giving too much away to tell you everything but if you’ve never come across Harry Hole before, you’re in for a treat. At the time of the story, he is working as a lecturer to young, keen, up and coming police officers and is called back into the force when a case arises that he may have a personal invested interest in. The one that got away. The murderer that continues to haunt his dreams is back and has a score to settle. The perp has a very peculiar M.O. that involves Tinder users and a pair of specially made, deadly iron teeth. The investigating detectives must use all the skills and prior knowledge from Harry Hole if they are to catch a vicious predator that puts a whole new spin on the word “psychopath.”

Jo Nesbo is one of the very few authors for me who writes characters that really get under your skin. Of course, I have an especially soft spot for our main man, Harry but he seems to have also developed his female characters wonderfully, including the lead detective on the case, Katrine Bratt and can I just take a moment to applaud the construction of his villain? Sadistic, twisted, terrifying – this is one man it would be quite easy to have a nightmare about when you finish reading this novel! Even the background characters that have less of a prominent role are drawn to perfection, all have distinct personalities and all of them feel incredibly authentic.

Now I want to talk about the plot (and also tell myself off a little bit for being so SMUG). I thought I knew where this book was going. In fact, I was so sure that I knew who the villain was and their motive that I was actually going to reduce my rating of this book by half a star as I thought I had it all worked out! Shame on me because I actually didn’t and I was completely taken back and delighted to be proved wrong. I was also left reeling by all the twists and turns, which were numerous and completely unexpected but so intricate and obviously beautifully planned by the author. The sign of a good book in my mind is when you keep thinking about it when you’re not reading it and can’t wait to return to it. This is how I felt whilst reading The Thirst. It’s a bit of a beast at just over 600 pages but every single page is worth your effort, I promise. I couldn’t get the story or the characters out of my head and I cannot give it any less than the full five stars. If you’ve never read any Jo Nesbo before, this can definitely be read as a stand alone although I would always suggest starting from the beginning of the series (in this case, The Bat) to get the full flavour of Harry’s back story. However, if you’ve read and loved Jo Nesbo before, what are you waiting for?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The Thirst by Jo Nesbo is the second book in my quest to conquer Mount Everest in The Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018!

 

The Leopard – Jo Nesbo

Published November 24, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Two women are found murdered in Oslo — both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims’ faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department’s only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole.

What did I think?:

Harry Hole is back. Oh yes. Since I read The Redbreast which was the first of the Norwegian author’s novels to be published in the UK, I have been hooked and I have to admit that Harry Hole may be my favourite detective ever. After the traumatic events related in the previous book, The Snowman, Harry Hole has gone into exile in Hong Kong, and lives a miserable existence living in cheap (and definitely not cheerful) hostels, surviving on his favourite noodles, and enjoying a newly discovered opium addiction which helps him escape the memories of his past. Then Kaja Solness from Oslo police manages to track him down and begs for his assistance in solving a set of gruesome murders that hint at possible serial killing activity, which happens to be Harry’s speciality. It is only when Kaja mentions that his father is seriously ill and close to death that Harry will consider coming back to Norway however, but cannot resist becoming embroiled in the case once his interest is sparked.

There is indeed another serial killer on the loose who seems to enjoy torturing his victims in the most sadistic way with a very unique type of murder weapon. It is quite graphic in places, so definitely not one for those with a weaker constitution. What I enjoyed most about this book though was the places it went – Hong Kong, Norway, Rwanda, Congo and Australia. It was quite long compared to the other Harry Hole novels (624 pages in paperback), and at times, the plots could seem a bit confusing with a lot of sub-plots happening beneath the main one, but I felt the writing was so excellent that I was determined to push through and in the end, it was worth the extra effort. I really felt that Harry’s character in this novel came into its own and he grew considerably as a person, I’m loving his self-deprecating and sarcastic sense of humour, and although I hate this phrase I do feel Harry went on a “journey” in this novel. Nesbo does a brilliant job of writing someone that feels real, flaws and all exposed to the world. The story itself is compelling and exciting, but I would probably advise reading the rest of the books in the series before this one so that you can really get a feel of what Harry has been through. An excellent addition to the series though, and I can’t wait to read the next one “Phantom.”

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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