Series: Harry Hole #1
Published by Vintage Books on July 2nd 2013
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, General, International Mystery & Crime, Thrillers, Crime
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
The electrifying first appearance of Jo Nesbø's detective, Harry Hole.
Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case. Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.
Jo Nesbø has been an author I’ve wanted to read for years. So when I got a deal on one of his books, Cockroaches, I couldn’t pass it up. However, when I went to read it I discovered it is the second book in Nesbø’s Harry Hole Detective series. The first novel, The Bat, introduces readers to Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad. Yet, instead of solving crime at home, Hole is dispatched to Sydney, Australia to observe a murder case of a Norwegian national. While in Sydney, Harry gets caught up in the case once it becomes apparent that the woman isn’t the only victim.
I really enjoyed Nesbø’s writing style. It was easy to read, and sucked me into the story immediately. Harry Hole is a really good protagonist, and very likable as a detective. He isn’t perfect, and his flaws make him very relatable. I expected Harry to be back home solving cases, and found it strange that Nesbø begin this series by taking the detective abroad. Though, I did enjoy a mystery set in Australia. I’d never read one before, and having been to Sydney I was able to visualize the places Harry went to some degree.
One thing I didn’t particularly care for was the story’s pace. It felt as if there was too much going on, which caused the story to drag in places. I spent a lot of the last quarter of the book wondering where the story was going, and if it was going to end soon. Overall, this book didn’t live up to the hype around Nesbø’s books, but was enjoyable enough to continue on to Cockroaches. If you’re interested in reading his work I hear the series really gets good in book 3, which was the first novel released in the States, so don’t let this review discourage you.