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Police: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 15, 2013
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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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By far one of the best of the series. I couldn't put it down.Published 2 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoy Nesbo's writing a lot and this book was particularly good.Published 1 day ago by Kathleen Brant
Another great read by Nesbo. Not sure where he is taking the Harry Hole character though. How much more can a investigator take.Published 4 days ago by Renee Hendrix
I'm big fun of Jo Nesbo, I've read "Police " in one breath. As always a lot of psychological deliberations. Plot full of surprises. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Margarita Lerner
I've given up on Scandinavian mystery writers. While most write great mysteries, I can no longer read the horrific things that are done, especially, to women. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Don Hooper
A good read like all the other books by this author, lots of twists that keep the reader in suspense.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer