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The Devil's Star Paperback – International Edition, November 2, 2009
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"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. When a second body shows up, similarly desecrated and adorned, it is feared that Oslo has a serial killer on their hands, setting the stage for an epic tale of crime and deception, of demons real and demons imagined.
Nesbo's Harry Hole is the maverick cop we've all seen many times before - unconventional and anti-bureaucracy, an alcoholic who is perpetually one step or one day or one punch away from a forced retirement. But from the talented Nesbo's pen, Hole takes on depth and baggage beyond the common - the tragic hero whose obsessions win the reader's empathy while driving those close to him further away while his unorthodox methods and atypical supporting cast unravel the puzzle - or in this case, a veritable smorgasbord of puzzles. For in a somewhat unusual twist, unresolved and nearly forgotten threads of "Redbreast" show up here, where they are taken decidedly and decisively to truly chilling, suspenseful, and ultimately redeeming conclusion.
So like I mentioned - this is crime fiction about as good as it gets. Intelligent and convoluted in a totally consumptive way, with twists and turns and clever head fakes - that rare novel that will have you scratching your head and re-reading passages - fiction that will have you rushing to get to the end while hoping it never does. Do yourself a favor and find a copy of both of Nesbo's translated works - if you're like me you'll be hoping this talented young author keeps writing and finds a US publisher.
So here I start reading "Devil's Star" and it did take me quite some time to get into as I was remembering the death from a previous book and this book was populated with characters I knew would eventually be dead further down the series. One of the plots was long running and had been discussed previously and in books further along so I knew what would happen to the bad guy (and who he was) but was glad to "finally" read the book where it all came to a head. I was also feeling lackadaisical about Harry's private life as I knew where that would eventually go. But as to the *case* Harry is working, that came to me as fresh and while I guessed the identity of the serial killer early, I did also change my mind pretty quickly too, only to be proven correct the first time in the end! It was a good read and a compelling thriller after I got over the initial hump I read very quickly. It is tough to pick up a book in the middle of a series you know so well but I'm glad to have read it and finally am up-to-date with the series and will have to wait not-so-patiently for the newest release now.
I am not interested in reading book after book about how horrible life is for someone cursed with an addiction. Flawed characters can add to the complexity and attraction of a good story but, when overdone, the use of such a strategy interferes and detracts from the story. The author offers nothing new from one book to the next regarding Harry's addiction. Enough already. I read Nesbo's novels because I hoped to enjoy a great mystery.
In this fifth Hole novel (but only the third translated), Harry is fed up with being a detective and frustrated at still not having solved the suspicious death of his partner Ellen. In the meantime there seems to be a serial killer on the loose in Oslo, one whose crimes don't seem to fit any pattern. Harry and Rakel have split, so we get to know more of Harry's acquaintances, and learn more about Harry himself and Beate Lonn, the forensic detective who never forgets a face. As the bodies stack up and media attention grows, Harry is under a lot of pressure to solve this case at the same time he's tied to his departmental nemesis Tom Waaler, who's in charge of the case. Could something go right for Harry? It doesn't seem like it, yet despite all his problems, Harry always seems to be the best human around.
This series is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Carries characters and story lines from previous
Jo Nesbo fans will be very pleased
Captivating plot, masterful storytelling, the characters are real. We see ourselves.