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The Devil's Star: A Novel (Harry Hole Series) Hardcover – March 9, 2010

627 customer reviews
Book 5 of 10 in the Harry Hole Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A serial killer taunts Harry Hole in Nesbø's searing third crime novel to feature the Oslo police detective to be made available in the U.S. (after Nemesis). Still suffering from alcohol-fueled demons and obsessed with hunting for evidence against a clearly dirty cop, Hole grudgingly agrees to help look into the murder of a woman whose finger has been amputated and a red diamond stuck under her eyelid. More bodies follow, with the murderer leaving identical five-pointed diamonds (the titular devil's star) at each crime scene. At first the killings appear to be random, but Hole soon discovers an ominous pattern. Nesbø brilliantly incorporates threads from earlier novels, including Hole's often tumultuous relationship with his lover, Rakel, without ever losing the current story's rhythm. Even with—or perhaps because of—his flaws, Hole is arguably one of today's most fascinating fictional detectives. 5-city author tour. (Mar.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Maybe it's something in the icy water. Along with Ã…ke Edwardson (Sweden), Karin Fossum (Norway), Stieg Larsson (Sweden), and Henning Mankel (Sweden), Jo Nesbo¸ is one of a growing number of Scandinavian crime writers who have burst with great fanfare onto the international scene in the last few years. Much of the action in The Devil's Star will be familiar to aficionados, though the author's characters and atmosphere make clear why Nesbo¸'s star is on the rise in America (he's already wildly popular in Europe). Crime readers who don't yet know Nesbo¸ will embrace the author, his tormented Harry Hole (comparisons have been made to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch), and the complex, noirish Norway hiding beneath the placid surface.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Hole Series (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061133973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061133978
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (627 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on September 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When it comes to crime fiction, I'm not an easy mark. I look for intricate but credible plots, well-developed characters, richly drawn settings, and lean dialog that compliments and develops the story, the characters and the setting, rather than as a misplaced prop which tries to make the hero some kind of cross between Chris Rock and Dirty Harry. So when I say that you should do whatever it takes to find a copy of Jo Nesbo's "The Devil's Star", and "The Redbreast" that precedes it, trust me that is worth the extra effort and extra bucks. (Neither of these novels, originally published in Norway and later translated to English by Don Bartlett and published in England are easily - or cheaply - found).

"The Devil's Star" starts brilliantly - the journey of a drop of water through a century-old Oslo apartment building that ends with one of the most original renderings of a murder discovery that I can remember. This cleverly told opening sets a literary and mystery high bar that never lets up and never betrays the author's implicit promise to the reader of an intelligent, complex, and appropriately brutal Scandinavian crime masterpiece. It is an unusually hot summer in Oslo, and most of the population, including the police force, is on holiday when a young woman is found dead in her apartment - one finger short and a red star-shaped diamond inserted under an eyelid. Harry Hole, the renegade Oslo inspector introduced in "The Redbreast" is assigned to the case with his nemesis, top brass-favorite Tom Waaler. To say the Hole has fallen on hard times is like observing Norwegian winters may get chilly - he is in an alcoholic stupor, despondent, suicidal, barely functional, and alone - the result of his obsession with the crimes he's certain Waaler committed in the preceding novel.
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228 of 240 people found the following review helpful By Southern Train on July 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a complex thriller set in Norway with an unusually intricate plot and an exceptionally well developed main character --I purchased this in Scotland and finished it within a little more than a day. This is is in the same genre as the stories written by Henning Mankell in the Kurt Wallender series. I would rate this story dealing with a serial killer on a par with Mankell's best. The suspense grinds away and the plot has multiple twists which keep the reader constantly on edge. I am purposely writing a very general review so as not to give away the many twists of this great mystery --it just never lets up and the quality of the writing is superb. This is a s[pecial accomplishment as the story is translated into English. This book far surpasses writings by Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and even some of Mankell's work.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Bowhill on January 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Extra Information: The first two books for this Harry Hole series The Bat Man and The Cockroaches have not been produced for translation at this time. The Redbreast: A Novel would be the third book in this series; if you were to start this series my recommendation would be from The Redbreast. The series then follows through in order with Nemesis: A Novel (Harry Hole) The Devil's Star and finally The Redeemer (A Harry Hole Mystery) which then brings us readers to all things wintry, dark days, sub zero temperatures, icy chills, the release of The Snowman March 2010.

Review - The Devil's Star (Harry Hole Fifth book)

The Devil's Star is a contemporary modern day crime plot with all its darker elements, filled with emotion, fast paced, suspenseful, the puzzle grips, builds, festers and twists keeping the mind ticking over until the very end. The author Jo Nesbø brings us into his opening scene, Oslo, current day a young women has been found murdered in her Oslo flat, shot, Index finger removed and a curious tiny diamond shaped like a five pointed star placed behind her eyelid. An unsteady Detective Harry Hole is sent over to investigate the situation. Days later another young women goes missing in broad daylight no body found, but Bjarne Møller Harry's boss receives her severed finger in the post.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the first and only book in this series that I've read. It received outstanding reviews, so I was interested. I found the first half of the book -- the introduction to the police detective Harry Hole, the murders, the allusions to things that happened in the past, things that obsessed Hole -- gripping. I wanted to know what happened and how Hole would discover who did it. But there is so much going on in this novel that during the second half I began to lose some of my interest: the book just didn't feel as compelling to me as it started out to feel. Probably some of my feeling that the drive of the book dissipated is due to the fact that are many things crammed into the book. Then, too, it's difficult to sympathize unendingly with a detective who's in an alcoholic stupor throughout most of the story: one's patience and interest wear thin. I began to crave something different, not more of the same drunkenness.
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