70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely BRILLIANT - Nesbo better than ever,
This review is from: Phantom: A Harry Hole Mystery (Paperback)
When I first started reading this latest Harry Hole novel, my hopes sank a little. It's about a new drug (called violin, a bit sad for me as I play the violin), drug smuggling, and the control of drugs in Oslo. I've never been one for stories on drugs and drug rings, (exception claimed for the tv show Breaking Bad), it's just something I'm really not interested in. But as Nesbo's brilliant writing kicked in and the plot took form I was hooked and couldn't put it down. As the story develops it becomes so much more - about family, relationships, morals and ethics, life and death. Nesbo is so skilled at laying clues and plot footholds as the novel progresses they don't even register. His ability to investigate the motives of the litany of characters drives the complex plot with its twists and turns, which leaves you puzzled, guessing (mostly wrongly) and breathless - and absolutely stunned at the climax.
As for the story itself, I don't won't to give away too many spoilers so will only say that Harry flies back into Oslo for the only reason that would bring him back, someone he loves is in trouble, and that's Oleg, who is now 18. It's a great relief to see Harry sober, although still fighting his demons, so that he can sort out the huge mess Oleg has gotten himself into. Poor Harry is put through the wringer again, but at least he and Rakel get to rekindle their romance whilst Rakel's boyfriend obligingly cools his heels.
Harry books into the Hotel Leon, where an old retired vagrant of a pastor is living in the room next door, who likes nothing more than to chew his arm off and take his cigarettes. A murdered teenager tells us his story as he lays dying, and slowly most of the pieces of what has happened come together. A Russian drug lord has a couple of new gruesome and ingenious ways of doing away with his enemies. A Norwegian native gets in on the drug manufacturing with disastrous consequences. The gorgeous Mikael Bellman has been promoted to head of Orgkrim, but he's still not entirely trustworthy. There's a `burner' in the police force, an astonishing concept I've never heard of, and a woman councillor whom I'm never sure is a woman or not.
I'm usually spot on in picking who-dunnit, but I missed nearly every clue (although I did get one), and certainly did not see the end coming. Now that I have finished the book I have found myself flipping back to reread the clues that I missed, and I still think there is one thing left unfinished (hopefully for the next book!). I think I need to read the whole book again. I'm only sorry that I will probably have to wait another year for Jo Nesbo's next book. This is a great story, vicious and heart-rending all in one, which makes it unforgettable. I think it is Nesbo's best yet. Surely to be a movie. It's worth more than 5 stars.
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Initial post: Apr 21, 2012 5:02:56 PM PDT
Terry J. Pratt says:
next book cath?
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