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Nemesis. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Harry Hole) Paperback – September 1, 2009
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"This tale of revenge has twists galore, and enough humanity in it to keep it grounded... A master at work" * Time Out * "A superb novel. Intricate, truly gripping plot...elegant simplicity. Bravo! - as they say in Norway" * Evening Standard * "Nesbo's storytelling abilities are incomparable" * USA Today * "Many authors know how to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Jo Nesbo's one of the few who keeps them there" * Linwood Barclay * "Nesbo sets a cracking pace... A series of spectacular plot twists leads to a thrilling finale. Highly recommended" * Guardian *
About the Author
Jo Nesbo is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel featuring Harry Hole 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). Phantom is the seventh of Nesbo's Harry Hole novels to be translated into English. Check out www.jonesbo.co.uk.
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At the same time, Harry spends the night with an old flame and becomes the suspect in a death that occurs, and he is also haunted by the death of his previous partner that is still an unsolved crime.
This is a long and complicated mystery and crime novel. New characters are introduced throughout the book, and I found the most challenging thing as a reader was keeping the characters straight. Despite the complexity of the story, I found the book to be a real page-turner through most of it. I had the answers all worked out and the perpetrators figured out, too, and was completely wrong. A well-written and carefully thought out book that I recommend. Each of the characters is very much an individual with his or her own personality traits. Harry is the one to stand out the most, with his over 6-feet tall frame, blonde hair, always smoking, introverted and alcohol craving self. Despite his shortcomings, I like him and his unusual skills as a detective. A very enjoyable book.
The clues were very obvious so I figured out the main suspect pretty early on but I still really enjoyed this book. It is chockablock with very interesting characters - some new and some old. Nesbo juggles three different story lines expertly and for the first time in the series takes an in depth look at the darker motives and rationale behind human behaviour. I enjoyed this psychological element of the book as well as the continuing battle of wits between Hole and Waaler who we were first introduced to in The Redbreast (the third book in the series).
I clearly did everything the wrong way - but you know what? It simply did not matter. I read "The Snowman" first, learned about Harry Hole's life in the future, and then went back to his earlier life here in "Nemesis." NO PROBLEM! "Nemesis" starts off with an Oslo bank robbery gone bad resulting in a bank employee's execution. It is all caught on tape. Oslo detective Hole is brought in to work with the robbery team due to his homicide experience. The homicide team is led by Tom Waaler, really Hole's nemesis. Hole can't work well with others - he is just not wired that way. He lacks personal communication skills, is grumpy, and is an alcoholic. Ordinarily I like my heros to be good and my villians to be bad. Despite all of Harry Hole's flaws (which make him real and human), Harry is a hero you can root for. Harry is dealing with the death of his former police partner (and has an urgent need, desire, to investigate the crime but has not been given authority to do so by his superiors), and is dealing with the drama of events involving his girlfriend and her son (her ex is trying to get custody of the boy, and he has some nasty connections that will be hard to compete with). But despite all of the drama, Harry is an excellent detective and he knows how to do his job. Harry ends up working with Beate Lønn, a young female criminalist, who specializes in analyzing video and has the rare special talent of being able to remember every face she has ever seen. Together they are a very unusual and likable team.
To add to everything else that is going on, a personal side drama involving a short-lived relationship with a former girlfriend takes place that potentially will destroy Harry for good - working on the two crimes simultaneously (the bank robbery spree and the crime drama involving the former girlfriend), many twists and turns (including Beate Lønn's own side drama) and departmental drama - makes "Nemesis" a psychologically rich thriller that should satisfy most crime police procedural lovers including Larson fans.
I just bought "the Devil's Star" yesterday and started it reading it - I am 7% of the way through and am thoroughly enjoying it (going forward to the third in the series following "Nemesis" - then I will go back and read "the Redbreast").
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