Having now read through the next book in the series, The Leopard, which actually references some of the more bizarre psychological insights of this book, I am thinking that perhaps four book was enough.
Incidentally, does anyone else out there wonder what Jo Nesbo's is really saying about his attitude to women, well, actually toward me too...exactly why are women always getting mutilated, men with power doing the mutilation, and Harry Hole so self destructive that he even winds up with his body being eroded from one book to the next?
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
Full disclosure: I LOVE detective stories. I read a lot of them. And this is one of the best I've ever read. It was shockingly good. Now I'm going back and reading EVERYTHING I can find by Jo Nesbo. It's taken over my wish list. Other books are getting pushed aside just so I can read more about Detective Harry Hole. Other detective stories aren't as interesting anymore, other characters not as vivid and real and other killers not as inventive or enthralling. Really, these books will ruin other books for you. So, fair warning.
I didn't know until half way through the book that it's part of a series. So you do not need to read any of the others first. It picks up with Harry Hole, a depressed, middle aged detective who is trying to kick a drinking habit. Then he picks up something weird, Norway has more missing mothers, per capita, than it should. He does more examining and finds only one of two things can be true: either he's completely off his rocker or Norway has one of the most successful serial killers in modern history, has for years, and hasn't even known it. Well, obviously, it's the second. So he's on the case.
Here's the secret of Jo Nesbo's success: he decided that there is nothing new under the sun. Cliches are there for a reason and he can't find a new killer, a totally new story (no one can, it's a fact of literature) so instead of being clever for clever's sake he decided to take typical characters and do them BETTER than they've ever been done before, make them more real than they ever have been before. And he succeeds. This book, these people, none of of it should be as good as it is. Yet somehow, it feels completely fresh, completely new and wonderful.
On top of that, this book is one of the slickest I've ever read. He genuinely fakes you out multiple times with fake killers, twists you actually didn't expect and an ending that will knock you off your feet. Just when you think you know what's going on, you realize you don't. Just when the characters make sense to you, they do something so startling that you'll audibly gasp. This book gets into your mind and doesn't let go.
Or maybe it's the narrator. Robin Sachs was born do to these books. He understands Nesbo's dark, noire, deliberate pace so well it's like he wrote the thing. His tone matches the subject matter perfectly and you'll love the sadness and terror he brings to the material.
This is better than a whole new story that no one has ever told; it's the type of story you've loved for YEARS finally told as well as it ever can be.
Several nice twists in the plot, although some of them almost predictable. Narratotion is good, but there are some parts of the recording that are very low (meaning the pitch), so when I listened to it in the car, it was difficult to understand.
This is a first rate thriller. The characters are all well defined and the antagonist suitably evil. I know there will be comparisons to the Millenium series, which is a bit unfortunate because the only comparisons are the geography and genre. Just plain excellent. I had to ding it a "star" only because of the narration. The narrator has a great voice but sometimes speaks far too fast and I miss several words and his patrician accent is difficult for a born and raised Californian.
Once I have found an author I like to read all the books in the series....the Stieg Larsson
Girl with the Dragon tattoo series is my all time favorite. So now that the bar has been set so high its hard to find that immediate connection and passion I'm looking for.
I found that spark again with all the Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs books ( w the Pendergast character) Charlene Harris w Sookie Stackhouse, every single one of the amazing Joshilyn Jackson books, Katheryn Stockett, all Elizabeth George books starting from the first of the Inspector Lord Lynley series....and now there is...and has been...Jo Nesbo. I love the gritty, grubby appealing central character Harry Hole...the stories are complex and you just cant imagine "who dunnit"...which I love. I'm about to be on my third Jo Nesbo and intend to read them all.
I recommend them.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
This is my first Jo Nesbo book, but I am already researching which one to start on next. I loved this thrilling book so much that I started calling friends and family before I was even half way through telling them to please get started on this book immediately. I noticed that Robin Sachs continues as the narrator for other Jo Nesbo audible books. That really pleases me because Mr. Sachs did a great job keeping the book exciting with his excellent reading. The characters are really interesting, and the book is full of twists and turns. I haven't felt this way since I was reading the Stieg Larsson books. And by the way, I will never look at a Snowman the same ever again.
Enjoy intellectually stimulating mysteries. Dislike story lines use a lot of violence, gun play and highly improbable events.
Parts of the story were technically not feasible.
Was enjoying the story, somewhat, until it got towards the end when storyline became simply too improbable and technically not feasible. It was as if the author decided to come up with something so crazy that no reader could have ever guessed it.
I'm sure its me but I had a terrible time keeping up with who was who and the flow of the the story. Maybe I'm not into foreign mysteries.
I bought the book because of the good reviews but it just wasn't that enjoyable to me.
I guessed who dun it 1/4 of the way into the book.
Nothing surprised me. No twists. Predictable, unclever plot.I would say the book did not even have potential to be a good story.
Norwegian not British.
The accent should have been Norwegian. Like the Renko novels use a Russian accent.He's not a bad narrator. Just the wrong one for this book.
Surprise. Such a highly rated book is so predicable.
A poor experience. Maybe I just got lucky in guessing who done it. But I kind of doubt it.
An enjoyable murder mystery for a road trip. Its not art, Its not outstanding literature, but it passed the hours along the highway very well.