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Headhunters Paperback – 2015
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Winner of the Norwegian Book Club Prize for Best Novel of the Year
Finalist for the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize for Best Novel of the Year
“I am the world’s greatest living crime writer. [Jo Nesbo] is a man who is snapping at my heels like a rabid pit bull poised to take over my mantle when I dramatically pre-decease him.” James Ellroy
“Stellar stand-alone caper.... The dizzying reversals of fortune and situations that would be over-the-top in lesser hands make for a delightful roller-coaster ride. Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard fans will be delighted.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Nesbo is a master storyteller, gripping the reader from the first page and ratcheting up the suspense.” Daily Express
“A gripping read.... I got lost in this book and hours skipped by as the chapters got shorter, more tense and the pace quickened to an almost unbearable crescendo.... A thoroughly satisfying read.” Irish Independent --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Jo Nesbo is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel was published in Norway in 1997 and was an instant hit, winning the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel (an accolade shared with Peter Hoeg, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson). His bestselling Harry Hole novels are a global phenomenon. www.jonesbo.co.uk. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
Anyone who is interested in Nordic thrillers should read this book. Anyone who enjoys mysteries, capers, Norway, psychology, the Coen Brothers, twists or fine writing. READ THIS NOW! I can't believe not everyone gave it five stars. I am a pretty jaded reviewer .. well, no, not really. I still get giddy over mysteries, science fiction, the odd literary novel, children's books, movies, recipes, etc. I feel like a lucky person to be around for all the great arts there are available at the click of a button. And if I had to rank my favorite authors across all genres, Jo Nesbo would be in my top five.
This is a thrilling story written in a distinctive and intriguing narrative voice, with great dialogue, complex characters, incredible situations and superb plotting. There is even wit and a little wisdom thrown in. This is like three novels, actually. We start with the story of Roger Brown, corporate headhunter who's also an art thief; later he becomes Roger Brown, hunted man; and finally we get Roger Brown, avenging cipher.
This is a great book. (And BTW, the movie is also very good and captures the book very well.) Nesbo is a magnificent writer and strategist. If you like the Harry Hole books, you will like this too.
By focusing on these characters, however, Nesbo frees himself from the limitations of the police procedural and can take his story in new directions, omitting the law entirely from almost all of the action, and creating a plot in which Roger Brown and his enemies play a game in which the "king of the chessboard" is the person who survives. Roger Brown has a side business, set up so cleverly that none of the other participants know who else is involved, a business which handsomely supplements his business income. As he interviews clients, Roger gains important personal information, including their artistic tastes and the nature of their investments in art. Then he cleverly arranges to have that artwork stolen from their homes and fenced. No one ever suspects him.
When he interviews a Dutch candidate for a major position in a corporation that makes sophisticated GPS devices, including some so tiny that they can be hidden in gels, he discovers that Clas Greve is his job candidate from hell, pushing back and eventually seizing the initiative. Soon every aspect of Roger's life is threatened, and no holds are barred. To go into much more detail would risk giving spoilers, but Nesbo is at his outrageous best here, allowing himself free rein to create a taut mystery with darkly hilarious complications which never stop coming, and coming, and coming. Creative killings and near misses inspire the reader to keep trying to figure out who is involved and how, but as soon as one "knows" how some betrayal took place, Nesbo twists the plot to show that the reader is wrong - yet again.
Adding to the pure fun and zany excitement are scenes which also evoke the reader's sympathies. Talented young executive Jeremias Lander, whose interview opens the novel, is manipulated by Roger Brown, illustrating some of the techniques headhunters use to guarantee that their candidates are ready for the jobs they want, even if they have to wait a while to get them. Roger's wife Diana, who once had an abortion that she didn't want, evokes sympathy as she deals constantly with the emotional aftereffects. Lotte, a "timid whelp, small and scruffy with fearful, brown puppy eyes," is used and discarded. Still, Nesbo's focus remains primarily on the plot and its twists, and his deadpan descriptions of outrageous (and truly unforgettable) scenes will keep readers smirking throughout, even as they are saying "E-e-w-w-w."
Note: All the proceeds from this novel will go to the Harry Hole Foundation, promoting literacy in the Third World. Already sold and developed as a film, this is the first Nesbo novel to hit the screen.
Nemesis: A Novel (Harry Hole)
I loved Nesbo's style, the way he painted Roger Brown was perfect and so immaculate-I felt like I knew the man. I started to question the art theft and why and was that plausible but stopped myself and decided to enjoy the ride. Then something terrible happened!! The book turned from a crisp, articulate portrayal of an everyday, arrogant, successful man with problems with his image and finances to a massive man-hunt, thriller. I tried and tried to not make snap judgements but It felt like Nesbo's writing style completely slipped from sophisticated to school-boy in the space of a chapter. Suddenly, rather than character building, we were being indulged in Nesbo's boyish fantasy of violence, guns, high tech gadgets and...there's no other way to put this...pooh! Without outlining the plot in detail I failed to see Greve's motive for needing to kill Brown and the need to pursue so dramatically (slamming a juggernaut into a police car killing a vast number of innocents etc) when Brown didn't know his motives as we hadn't yet had the obligatory 'I'm going to kill you so, before I do I'm going to tell you all my motives' scene.
All this being said I had to give the book 3 stars as it was very readable and, if the first half,somehow, could have been wrapped into a short story it would have been 5 stars no problems.