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Police: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 15, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,085 customer reviews
Book 10 of 10 in the Harry Hole Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The life of Insp. Harry Hole, who was shot in the head by his surrogate son in the finale of 2012's Phantom, hangs in the balance for much of Nesbø's powerful 10th novel featuring the Oslo homicide cop. Secondary players who have helped out along the way step into the spotlight: forensics expert and facial-recognition whiz Beate Lønn; the brilliant but psychologically unstable detective Katrine Bratt; Harry's longtime friend Bjørn Holm; and the slippery new police chief, Mikael Bellman. The police force itself is at stake when it becomes apparent that the seemingly unrelated deaths of police officers are actually part of a larger pattern: each officer was slain at the site of an unsolved crime. In Nesbø's able hands, Harry's absence is a character unto itself, but this will only make readers more eager to learn Harry's fate. Author tour. 150,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Oct.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Three shots fired at point-blank range. Harry Hole has to be dead, doesn’t he? And, yet, here is a new “Harry Hole novel,” not an earlier installment of the series published out of order. Ever since word of this novel’s publication started leaking, fans of Nesbø’s best-selling series have been scratching puzzled heads: Harry alive? Well, you’re not going to find the answer in this review, and in fact, you won’t find it definitively until page 505 of Nesbø’s maddening yet riveting cat-and-mouse game of a novel. But let’s leave poor Harry in a kind of literary limbo for the moment and focus on what—with or without Harry—is one hell of a thriller. Police officers in Oslo are being murdered by a serial killer with a bizarre agenda: each victim is discovered at a crime scene that mimics the scene of an earlier unsolved murder. Not only that but the new victims all participated in the investigations of the earlier crimes. Is the killer a fellow cop? Working as an off-the-books task force, Harry’s former colleagues—Beate Lønn, Stale Aune, Bjorn Hølm, and Katrine Bratt—set out to find the answers. It’s clear that Chief of Police Mikael Bellman and his henchman, Truls Berntsen, are dirty, but are they killers? Nesbø cunningly plays with the reader throughout this devilishly plotted tale, introducing multiple corkscrewing twists and, while we’re worrying about Harry, slipping in a horrifying shocker from another direction altogether. The narrative is ingenious, but it grips us the way it does because, after nine novels, we’ve formed abiding relationships with these characters and don’t like to see them messed with. Nesbø messes with everyone here, especially the reader, but furious as we’d like to be, in the end we’re willing supplicants. --Bill Ott

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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Hole Series
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307960498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307960498
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,085 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After Phantom's amazing twist-hanger I was almost delirious with glee and trepidation when I heard the next Harry Hole book Police was coming out.

So was my anticipation satisfied?

Yes - however not in the way I expected. Police is a weightier tome than other Hole novel's and thusly the length of the novel evokes tension as a slow-burn rather than a furious action packed feast. While perhaps less immediately exciting Nesbo plies us with a smorgasbord of corruption, deeply disturbing villains, and tormented decisions from our main characters which had my nerves fraying to the point of madness.

Nesbo has a talent for taking crime thriller tropes and twisting them into deranged scenarios than leave most other authors behind as cliche peddlers. While it takes time to warm up to this book it is definitely worth it. The end, perhaps not as shocking as the Phantom, I feel will stick in heads for a while yet.

As to a aforementioned twist-hanger? Don't expect fireworks and or huge magical reveals. Expect ambiguity and sneaky oblique plotting that keeps you guessing throughout the novel. I admit I was hoping for a dramatic conclusion to the events at the end of Phantom, but what Nesbo presents is cool in its own way.

Overall Police reads differently from other Oslo Sequence books. Longer and more nuanced, expect a familiar level of violence, but Nesbo revs up the psychological and sexually perverse aspects of crime. Ultimately creating a novel that is disturbingly original, with just enough light to satisfy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the Harry Hole novels started appearing in English a few years ago, I thought they were unbeatable for multi-layered fiendishness in the burgeoning genre of Nordic noir. Among the horde of loner detectives who somehow get their man while digging their own grave, Police Inspector Harry Hole set a new standard for magnetic self-loathing. "Police" follows closely on the heels of"Phantom," in which Nesbo left readers wondering whether Harry's end had finally come. One of the teasers in the new novel is whether the unnamed patient lying in a coma induced by the closing events of "Phantom"is, in fact, Harry. "Police"is stuffed with too many red herrings of this sort, which keeps things interesting a good part of the way, but palls as Harry, who isn't as sharp as usual, zeroes in on the killer. I also got tired of Harry's old nemesis on the force, Mikael Bellman, now chief of police, and his deeply creepy sidekick, Truls Berntsen, who should have been found out at least two books ago. As usual, Nesbo's women aren't very convincing: the femme-fatale in this one would send any red-blooded man running for the hills. And frankly, Nesbo's dark, drug-addled Oslo is becoming a bit too claustrophobic. Though I'd miss the great Norwegian names (e.g. Roar Midstuen), I'd love Harry to get out of town for the next one - perhaps a return visit to Hong Kong, or a walk down the sunny mean streets of L.A. He needs a holiday, and so do I.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read all the Harry Hole novels but not in order since translations did not hit the US in order. The last Harry Hole released in the US was the Bat, which is actually chronologically the first Harry Hole. I also see the sequel to the Bat, The Cockroaches, will hit the US in January. This is somewhat important to this review and actually determined five rather than four stars.

Generally, when I read in this genre, especially series, I'm usually influenced by a review of the current novel and if I like it I will go back to the first. Usually, it helps to have read many series in this genre in order but it isn't entirely necessary. Most authors want their latest novels to stand-alone and pick up new readers. My sense is that this is not the case with Jo Nesbo. Nesbo wrote Police for his readers who had read The Phantom. I am not sure how much of Police one can get through without giving up in frustration; however, readers of Phantom might need the occasional memory jog but will have no problem getting right into Police. This is why I gave Police five stars. It's rare that a writer shrugs off potential new readers in order to write directly for his fans.

Readers of The Phantom know what happened at the end, so it is no spoiler with the advent of Police that it is indeed a Harry Hole novel. By the way reviews of other Nesbo's Hole novels explain eloquently Harry's name and the issue of translation. Nesbo's usual translator, Don Bartlett, translated this novel. I give Reg Keeland the translation edge for the Steig Larson translations. However, Barlett does a good job although with some unevenness. I also noticed that Alfred A. Knopf as opposed to Vintage publishes Police, which published the Bat. Harry seems to be finding a lot of fans in the US.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With over twenty million books sold worldwide, and over a dozen Nordic prizes and nominations for crime writing, Norwegian author Jo Nesbo is at the top of his game, and this novel, which most readers will probably agree is the best one yet, is sure to win him even greater recognition and even more readers. The ninth in the Harry Hole series, which centers on a troubled, alcoholic Oslo police inspector, this novel begins where Phantom, the preceding novel, left off, with Inspector Harry Hole suffering from grievous injuries and near death after being shot in the head. As the novel opens, an anonymous man has been hospitalized, comatose and under 24-hour police guard, for months.

As a series of new crimes terrorizes Oslo, many familiar characters reappear in this novel, including Beate Lonn, Stale Aune, Gunnar Hagen, Katrine Bratt, and Bjorn Holm, all of whom have worked with Harry Hole in the past. Both Kripos and the Crime Squad are collaborating here to find a serial killer who is murdering policemen. Each victim has been lured to the site of an unsolved murder on which s/he worked, on the anniversary of that earlier murder. The murders involve "sex, sadism, and the use of knives," and frequently violence to the face with a blunt object. Mikael Bellman, the young, new (and self-serving) Police Chief, under great pressure to produce results, is determined to protect his turf by taking credit for any progress and blaming others for delays.

As new characters and suspects are introduced, Nesbo, always clever in creating bizarre details to make these characters memorable, also focuses on the psychiatric problems which have led the murderer to create some grotesque - even nauseating - scenes.
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