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The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 9, 2017
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Praise for The Thirst:
“Jo Nesbø certainly has the magic touch when it comes to psycho serial killers. . . . Intricate plotting keeps the story shifting under our feet. Nesbø is a master at this narrative sleight of hand, and if you can stand the gory details and hang on during the switchback turns, the payoff is its own reward.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"[Nesbø is] the reigning king of Scandinavian crime fiction . . . [The Thirst is] a big-boned, Technicolor epic . . . starting adagio and ending accelerando, but with the kind of close psychological character readings that distinguished his early work."
—Barry Forshaw, The Guardian (London)
“It all starts with a Tinder date in a bar appropriately called Jealousy and ends with death on an ice-covered fjord. In between, The Thirst is filled with horrific murder scenes intensely detailed enough to chill the blood in your veins. . . . You’ll want to sink your teeth into The Thirst and not let go.”
—Jonathan Elderfield, The Washington Post
"Fast moving . . . stunning."
—Joan Smith, The Times (London)
“Wading into dark and deranged territory . . . an edgy and visceral read. [Nesbø] is a master of structure, style and no-pages wasted plotting. . . . In Nesbø’s consistently excellent Hole series, The Thirst may well be the pinnacle.”
—Eric Swedlund, Paste Quarterly
“Jo Nesbø has ripped the throat out of the serial-killer genre. He’s exsanguinated it, soaking up every dark pleasure and wringing them out onto the page. There’s no need to ever read another one, Nesbø has so completely deconstructed the trope with a multi-dimensional novel that blurs lines among crime, psychological procedural and, yes, horror thrillers. . . . [Hole] survives in a literary landscape dreamt up by Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe. . . . Brilliant . . . Nesbø shows his true mastery . . . Nesbø’s plots are evocative of James Ellroy and Lee Child with crime layered upon crime.”
—Robert Anglen, Arizona Republic
“Exceptional . . . Nesbø depicts a heartbreakingly conflicted Harry, who both wants to forget the horrors he’s trying to prevent and knows he has to remember them in all their grim detail.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A gripping, way-scary crime novel. . . . This one will keep readers awake deep into the night."
—Bill Ott, Booklist (starred review)
“Explosive . . . twists within twists within twists . . . yet more evidence of why Scandinavian crime writers continue to dominate international bestseller lists.”
“[The Thirst] features thoroughly developed characters, an intricate plot, and suspenseful twists, all hallmarks of a master storyteller.”
—Roland Person, Library Journal (starred review)
Praise for the work of Jo Nesbø:
“Nesbø writes like an angel. As in Lucifer.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Nesbø explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killers where you least expect to find them. . . . His novels are maddeningly addictive.”
“Jo Nesbø is my new favorite thriller writer and Harry Hole is my new hero.”
“Nesbø . . . is a giant of the Scandinavian mystery.”
—The Boston Globe
“Crime fiction’s most tortured and compelling hero. Alas, no armor exists strong enough to keep Harry from his demons, or the rest of us from Harry.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Nesbø’s books have a serious, socially significant heft, as well as a confident (even cocky) narrative stride that is unmatched. These aren’t mere investigatory trifles to be enjoyed and forgotten; their unnerving horrors linger.”
“In the crowded field of Scandinavian crime fiction, Nesbø’s books stand out. . . . Nesbø likes to rip plots up . . . to play with the conventions of his genre.”
—The New Yorker
“Harry Hole is fast becoming one of the planet’s favorite detectives. And his demons are almost as legendary as his observational and analytical skills.”
—The Mirror (UK)
“[Nesbø is] the writer most likely to take the ice-cold crown in the critically acclaimed—and now bestselling—category of Nordic noir.”
—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard and Phantom, and he is also the author of several stand-alone novels and the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel, and his books have sold thirty-three million copies in fifty languages.
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Harry Hole has retired from the police force. In a previous case a serial killer was hunting policemen and Rakel, with whom he's now living, is afraid for him. He loves her, so he agrees to quit. But then, Mikael Bellman, the police chief, who's being considered for the department of justice, ask specifically for Harry. Harry loves hunting murders almost as much as he loves Rakel. For some reason she doesn't object.
There are lots of twists and turns. Jo Nesbo is pretty good at false leads. At one point a hematologist doctor tells Oleg, Rakel's son from another relationship, his mother has rare blood. She's been in a coma for weeks, then suddenly gets well as if nothing happened. My ears perked up like a German shepherd. I'm the type who's always looking for the least likely suspect. He or she is usually the one who did it. Nesbo has a technique for readers like me. Make the reader feel kind of sorry for the suspect you should be able to figure out right off the bat. He got me.
About half way through the book, Hallstein Smith reveals that a vampirist is too impulsive to plan a murder. So now we're looking for the brains behind the killer. Harry tracks down a stalker who looks like a likely suspect. A waitress from the Jealousy Bar is also missing. One of the previous victims met a Tinder date there and this guy was there. Harry develops a relationship with the owner of the bar; he even buys into the bar to keep it open. If you haven't read a Harry Hole novel before, Harry is an alcoholic. When Rakel gets well he asks her to be his bookkeeper. She says she'll think about it. But the brains behind the vampirist is a lot smarter than that or Jo Nesbo is a lot smarter than that. It ain't that easy.
Eventually the light goes on for Harry as it always does, and it almost gets him killed. A good mystery writer also does the minor characters really well. In the Harry Hole mysteries there's this incompetent cop, Truls Bernsten, who's been selling evidence on the vampirist to a newspaper woman. He's pretty much bullet-proof because he grew up with Mikael Bellman, the police chief. Sadly, he's also is love with Bellman's wife, whom he tries to save during a crucial time in the story. He does something like this in every one of the Hole novels. Just when you think he's a total skunk, he solves the case or whatever.
Some people will hate this book, but since Nesbo faked me out of my jock, I have to give it four stars.
I do not like the fact that it is so obvious that this book is a set-up for a sequel - there is nothing subtle about this given fact. I would rather have had all the loose ends tied up in this book.
Harry Hole is a truly great character and because of his demons and his abundant flaws, he is all the more likeable.