From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. When a bank teller is shot during a holdup at the start of Norwegian bestseller Nesbø's beautifully executed heist drama, Oslo Insp. Harry Hole investigates, along with Beate Lønn, a young detective with the ability to remember every face she's ever seen. Meanwhile, Harry receives a call from Anna Bethsen, a woman he hasn't seen in years. After he meets Anna, recovering alcoholic Harry awakens the next morning with a hangover and the news that Anna is dead, apparently by her own hand. While Harry quietly looks into Anna's death, he and Beate uncover ties in their bank robbery case to one of Norway's most notorious bank robbers, who's currently in prison. The deeper Harry digs, the clearer it becomes that Anna's death is linked to the robbery. Expertly weaving plot lines from Hole's last outing to feature the inspector, The Redbreast
(2007), Nesbø delivers a lush crime saga that will leave U.S. readers clamoring for the next installment. (Jan.)
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*Starred Review* When Norwegian Jo Nesbo’s Redbreast landed on these shores in 2007, the acclaim was universal. Now Nesbo returns with another novel that is every bit the multitextured, complexly plotted, psychologically rich thriller that made Redbreast such an unqualified success. We pick up the life of Oslo detective Harry Hole, a recovering alcoholic whose closet is stuffed with unresolved issues concerning his obsession with his job and his inability to commit to a personal life, as he awaits the return of his new lover, Rakel, from Russia, where she hopes to be awarded permanent custody of her young son. But then he accepts an invitation to meet an old girlfriend, and suddenly he is sucked into the abyss all over again. Waking the next day at home with what appears to be a world-class hangover, he bemoans having fallen off the wagon, only to realize that’s merely the tip of the iceberg: the girlfriend has been found murdered, and his rival in the Oslo police department may be behind an attempt to frame him. Does the girlfriend’s death somehow tie in with the bank robbery and murder that he and his new partner are investigating? As Hole attempts to connect the sea of dots strewn in his path, he must battle not only his adversaries but his own demons, suddenly given new life. Nesbo manages the unlikely feat of exploring the inner life of his lead character in the thorough and compelling manner one associates with, say, Ruth Rendell, while at the same time juggling multiple, interlocking plot strands as dexterously as David Hewson. No doubt about it: Nesbo belongs on every crime-fiction fan’s A-list. --Bill Ott