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The Devil's Star Paperback – International Edition, November 2, 2009
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.
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Harry knows now that fellow police officer Tom Waaler is not the upstanding, stable and well-organized detective he pretends to be. Tom and Harry are at the same level on the police force. Tom has plans to advance. Harry has plans to get through the day. Tom would never experience the strong emotions which tear at Harry. He is no tortured soul. I know Harry believes that Tom Waaler is a crooked cop and that he was involved in the death of Harry’s former partner, Ellen, but I don’t think Harry really realizes how cold-blooded the man who thinks of himself as The Prince is.
Harry has no idea how he will prove what he suspects about Tom and luck is not with him until a series of “ritual” murders leads him to the Prague connection from whence come the red diamond pieces of jewelry shaped like 5-pointed stars (devil’s stars or pentagrams).
Can you guess who the serial killer is before Harry finally figures it out. It is, as usual, a toughie. What connects Tom Waaler with the serial killer? Is there a connection? Is Tom the killer?
This tale is not for the fastidious. Nesbø gives us the most graphic and grisly details found in any of his novels so far. Forensics may be elegant in that it solves murders with science, but the evidence that must be analyzed is frequently made up of the bodily substances we avoid contact with; forensic explorations are often disgusting and not for the squeamish.
Of course, murder is also not for the squeamish. My brain enjoyed this episode in the Harry Hole saga, even if I felt inspired to utter the occasional “gross” or “yuck” about any number of the unpalatable details found in this particular Harry Hole adventure. If The Devil’s Star were made into a movie I would have my eyes covered through a few of the most memorable scenes. When all is said and done and the serial killer is caught and Tom “The Prince” Waaler, who may or may not be the serial killer, is dealt with, the novel ends with an interesting twist and a happy surprise.
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Have enjoyed each Harry Hole book.Read more