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Nemesis: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 667 customer reviews
Book 4 of 10 in the Harry Hole Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. When a bank teller is shot during a holdup at the start of Norwegian bestseller Nesbø's beautifully executed heist drama, Oslo Insp. Harry Hole investigates, along with Beate Lønn, a young detective with the ability to remember every face she's ever seen. Meanwhile, Harry receives a call from Anna Bethsen, a woman he hasn't seen in years. After he meets Anna, recovering alcoholic Harry awakens the next morning with a hangover and the news that Anna is dead, apparently by her own hand. While Harry quietly looks into Anna's death, he and Beate uncover ties in their bank robbery case to one of Norway's most notorious bank robbers, who's currently in prison. The deeper Harry digs, the clearer it becomes that Anna's death is linked to the robbery. Expertly weaving plot lines from Hole's last outing to feature the inspector, The Redbreast (2007), Nesbø delivers a lush crime saga that will leave U.S. readers clamoring for the next installment. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Norwegian Jo Nesbo’s Redbreast landed on these shores in 2007, the acclaim was universal. Now Nesbo returns with another novel that is every bit the multitextured, complexly plotted, psychologically rich thriller that made Redbreast such an unqualified success. We pick up the life of Oslo detective Harry Hole, a recovering alcoholic whose closet is stuffed with unresolved issues concerning his obsession with his job and his inability to commit to a personal life, as he awaits the return of his new lover, Rakel, from Russia, where she hopes to be awarded permanent custody of her young son. But then he accepts an invitation to meet an old girlfriend, and suddenly he is sucked into the abyss all over again. Waking the next day at home with what appears to be a world-class hangover, he bemoans having fallen off the wagon, only to realize that’s merely the tip of the iceberg: the girlfriend has been found murdered, and his rival in the Oslo police department may be behind an attempt to frame him. Does the girlfriend’s death somehow tie in with the bank robbery and murder that he and his new partner are investigating? As Hole attempts to connect the sea of dots strewn in his path, he must battle not only his adversaries but his own demons, suddenly given new life. Nesbo manages the unlikely feat of exploring the inner life of his lead character in the thorough and compelling manner one associates with, say, Ruth Rendell, while at the same time juggling multiple, interlocking plot strands as dexterously as David Hewson. No doubt about it: Nesbo belongs on every crime-fiction fan’s A-list. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Hole Series (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780062119698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062119698
  • ASIN: 0062119699
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (667 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jennifer Grace Dawson on September 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hate leaving a review like this because it has nothing to do with the quality of writing, which I find compelling and evocative. The Kindle edition is missing page 261 (which is the beginning of the last chapter in a section and therefore almost the worst possible page to miss). I looked all over Amazon's site and could not find a means to report this so here it is, for all to see.

Buyer beware of the missing "page"!
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Format: Hardcover
[NOTE added 09/07/2013:] - Because of a coding error on Amazon's part, Amazon has merged the customer reviews of Jo Nesbo's detective novel, "Nemesis", with the customer reviews of Philip Roth's "Nemesis." This affects both books' product pages and it is confusing to potential readers of each book. Amazon is aware of the snafu but hasn't yet corrected the problem. The review below relates to Philip Roth's "Nemesis".]

One thing the prospective reader may want to know is that Philip Roth's "Nemesis" is an old-fashioned novel. The book has the glow of a twilit, though painful, reminiscence. It is set in the Jewish Weequahic section of Newark during the war year of 1944. Roth imagines the community suffering through a devastating polio epidemic that cruelly maims and kills its youngest members. The protagonist is Bucky Cantor, a young man, a stalwart common man, whose decision whether to remain at or abandon his post as summer playground director will have fateful consequences.

Very early in his career Roth sent to Saul Bellow a draft of a short story he was trying to get published, asking for comments and advice. Bellow replied: "My reaction to your story was on the positive side of the scale, strongly. But mixed, too. I liked the straightness of it, the plainness." A half century later, Roth's new novel respects Bellow's preference. Direct, straight and plain, "Nemesis" unfolds in a manner you may not immediately associate with Roth. It is as if, having chosen to set his tale in the mid-twentieth century, Roth decided to set aside the signature style and quirks he's perfected in the last few decades, and, instead, hark back to the American literature of that earlier period, embracing its feel and direction.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, Nesbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.

Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as well as his new love relationship and the death of his partner, finds himself caught up in trying to solve a murderous bank robbery while trying to convince his superiors that his partner's death is - contrary to their belief - still unsolved and that he should be allowed to pursue an investigation into it.

This is a compelling entry in the series, with rich characterizations and impeccable plotting.

The only thing that readers should be aware of is that the novels of the series published in English thus far have been translated and published out of sequence; this is actually the second book of the series, though it's come out in English third, and the plot line about his partner's murder was resolved in the third book - which was actually the first one published in English (The Devil's Star). Did you follow that?

If so, dig in and enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dear Amazon - Please take a close look at the top of this page. See the cover? Does that look to you like the cover for Jo Nesbo's Nemesis? Didn't think so. That picture is also what is on my Kindle.

Look, I'm a huge Nesbo fan, and I love this book, but if you are going to be serious about your business, Amazon, fix the darn quality control. This sort of thing is just not acceptable.
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Format: Hardcover
In 2003--the height of the SARs outbreak--during a visit with my Mother, she told me of her childhood in the midst of a polio outbreak in her hometown that left two of her friends crippled. Thanks to Dr. Salk, it was a threat I never had to face. When I heard the subject of Philip Roth's new book, I was drawn back to the story she had recounted, and I had to read it. I had hoped the book would give me an insight into the world in which she had grown up, and it did not disappoint.

'Nemesis' is a fictitious account of an epidemic terrorizing the citizens of Newark, New Jersey. Bucky Cantor, 23 year old phys ed teacher and playground director, is one of the few young men left in Newark after Pearl Harbor. Being rejected by every branch of the military for his poor eyesight, Bucky is not only saddened to see his friends leave, he is hurt that he is unable to participate. While his friends fight to advance the allied foothold in France, Bucky is facing an equally devastating adversary on the playground he is in charge of. Polio is rapidly sweeping Bucky's ward and, in witnessing it's effects, Bucky is struggling with his own courage to stand up and fight.

The book explores beautifully how people cope with loss, and how people react in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It also delves into the decisions we make, the motivations behind those decisions, and the repercussions that only become clear in hindsight.

The book--almost mercifully--is a short, quick read. It is incredibly intense at times and does not afford much in the way of reprieve from the intensity. That is not to discourage readers, however, because what Roth has given is not only an account of life during a polio epidemic, but a piece of WWII-era Americana. 'Nemesis' is a fascinating and enlightening read that I would highly recommend.
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