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review 2020-05-08 16:14
King of scandi noir
Knife: (Harry Hole 12) - Jo Nesbo

Ok let's be honest Harry Hole is a cliche detective, and there are many similarities between him and Ian Rankin's great creation Rebus. They both like working outside the law, they are happy to use unconventional methods to achieve results. Alcohol and cigarettes fuel their ambition, and the odd female liaison allows them a place of sanctuary where their wounded egos can be massaged. Rebus of course is now retired ( well not really) and he is some 17 years Harry’s senior. But we as readers of crime fiction love them, we forgive them their foibles knowing that their astute ability to catch the “baddies” will always make them heroes in our eyes!


Knife is an edge of the seat thriller and it may be some 600+ pages long (paperback) but every reading minute is pure pleasure. Harry’s old criminal rival Svein Finne is once more back on his patch and seeking revenge for the detective who incarcerated him. Young women are being raped and Finne is high on the list of suspects. However one chilling moment at the start, a brilliant piece of writing by Nesbo, changes the direction of the story, and sends Harry once again into deep sorrow and depression ably helped by his always on hand, good friend Jim Beam. To say much more about the plot would spoil the pleasure that awaits you, dear reader. There are many red herrings, and false leads as Nesbo plays with you, giving you a false sense of satisfaction only to slap you in the face when you realize that the person you suspected is nothing more than an innocent bystander.

The writing is taut, using few words but always adding a sense of sadness and drama and possibly a little humour……..

“Harry had been happy. But happiness is like heroin; once you've tasted it, once you’ve found out that happiness exists, you will never be entirely happy with an ordinary life without happiness again”.......

“ For every cigarette you smoke, God takes an hour away from you...and gives it to Keith Richards”....

“Of course. Imagine that you feel like killing someone, but can’t make yourself do it. So you need help. From fate. And if the dice tells you to kill, fate bears the responsibility; it liberates you and your free will. Do you see? All it takes is a throw of the dice”....

“Then it was as if Harry’s smile suddenly shattered, like the morning ice in October, and Bjorn found himself looking into the black depths of desperate pain again. As if Harry had merely wanted to taste happiness. And had spat it out again.”.....


Wonderful storytelling from the true king of Scandi crime noir. Highly, highly recommended.

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text 2020-02-15 17:44
Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
Der Erlöser - Jo Nesbo

It's been too long, glad I'm finally continuing this...

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review 2019-11-18 10:32
Ciągle zaspokaja
Pragnienie - Jo Nesbo

Moja pierwsza myśl to: "Zaraz, ale wampiryzm? Czy aby nie posuwamy się już trochę za daleko, panie Nesbo?"


Pan Nesbo odpowiedział mi w swoim stylu, tak wykręcając fabułę, że już nie miałem żadnych pytań.


"Pragnienie" nie jest może szczytowym osiągnięciem autora w moim prywatnym rankingu, ale udanie kontynuuje najlepsze tradycje cyklu. Wciąż – a to już jedenasty tom przecież – nie miałem wrażenia, że historia Harry'ego Hole'a jest przeciągana na siłę.

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review 2019-10-26 20:43
Dark and Stormy Square
Macbeth - Jo Nesbo

Oh, I wanted to love this.  I did.  I truly did.  But . . but.. 


Okay - I love the SWAT and drug use.  The witches were cool in this.


But I kept thinking Norway instead of Scotland which was weird, and then started wondering what Ian Rankin would have done.  And then it was -so Macbeth and Lady are basically a bad version of McLevy and Jean Brash.


So didn't like it.

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review 2019-09-23 15:17
"Phantom", by Jo Nesbo
Phantom - Don Bartlett,Jo Nesbo,Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole book #9

Jo Nesbo certainly can do plots but I found “The Phantom” to be less outlandish than some of his previous Hole novels. It is a story very hard to follow.

“Violin” is the new synthetic drug: potent and plays havoc with Oslo’s population and its distribution is controlled by a Russian gangster “Dubai” a shadowy figure who lurks behind all the action in Phantom. Of course the drug syndicate wants Oleg dead and that gives Hole license to pursue.

What a strange way to open your story: a chapter narrated by a rat? Fortunately the story unfolds through two perspectives: a conventional third-person narrative that follows Hole on his journey, interspersed with first-person memories and observations from the drug dealer.

The development rambles a lot and I found it to be a very complicated story with lots of plot threads that doesn’t seem true. This is one story that is woefully overwritten. I was consistently lost as to what and who I was supposed to be paying attention to. Unlike “Snowman” and “Leopard” it felt stale and by far less interesting. It’s also a bit slow-paced. “Phantom” took a long time to build up before anything of note happened. The second half of the book is far better structured with all the requisite twists and turns and with endless action and violence. But the good parts came too late to be an enjoyable read. This story is so hard to follow that I wanted to drop it many times….. But I stuck with it and read it to the end….I knew I needed to do so in order to have a smooth intro to the following novel.

Some stories are better than others…..this one is not my preferred.

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