I found the plot development somewhat forced -- hard to believe -- but enjoyed it nonetheless. Fascinating look behind the scenes of the Salvation Army. Harry seemed somehow less vested in the problems he was solving.
As for the narrator. The loss of Robin Sachs is huge. I especially missed his distinguishing voices for each character. Much as I like John Lee -- his nicely dark voice and his delivery -- his reading here made the book more difficult to follow, and more difficult to keep the characters straight. It's probably because the names are unfamiliar, but also may be because the voice of each character was less than distinctive. But what are you going to do?
Tell us about yourself!
First, I have always enjoyed listening to John Lee. The unfortunate passing of Robin Sachs should not give anyone the opportunity to compare the two. This was well narrated.
Next, I was surprised that, by the end, Harry had not been shot, stabbed, beaten nor threatened!
This episode is just as engaging as the others, but it did not leave me cringing at the evil that humans can do to each other. Harry still fights the same demons and regrets that haunt him throughout the series.There are still murders and odd clues than the clever mind of Harry Hole manages to tie together to untangle a twisted plot. His personal sense of justice makes for an apt conclusion.
This is another great listen from Jo Nesbo.
Not all about Hole's addiction struggles and demons.
Nesbo never goes formula, a la Dan Brown, other than Hole always have a love dilemna.
He tries to make listening just like reading, which is perfect. All I want is to be able to listen to the book in the car, not hear some kind of performance of play. Always. Always. Always.
It made me happy to plug in an audiobook that didn't add sound effects and drama by reading, just the book. Just the book.
The Devil's Star is the only other Harry Hole book I've read, and I thought it was just so-so, not nearly as good as Karin Fossum. But The Redeemer is something else entirely. I may be biased because I lived in Croatia for several years, but the Croatian connection is not the only reason this book is good. Harry seemed so much more likable and complex in this book: he's not just angry-headstrong-brilliant-detective-guy but also showed more vulnerability (and I don't just mean his alcoholism). Plus, you know how sometimes you read a detective novel and you hope for a different type of ending? Here ya go. Not that the mystery is that difficult--I figured out the culprit really easily, which I don't even try to do, normally--but the resolution was really nice. Nesbo's portrayal of Croatian refugees and war veterans is spot-on.
About the narration: the biggest issue for me was the....occasional...William Shatner....pacing. Egregious. Plus, the narrator's "Croatian" accent was just pseudo-Russian, and several crucial Croatian words are mispronounced. I lived in Osijek--near Vukovar--for years, and "Spasitelj" is pronounced SPASitelj, not spaSEEtelj. Bah.
But the narration rarely impeded my enjoyment of the story...I just have a few minor issues with it. This book is well, well worth a credit.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
Don't buy any of this series unless you plan to listen to them all. I would suggest you listen in order which is now possible because most have been translated at this point. Although there have been two different narrators, you really won't notice unless you listen to one after the other. They are both excellent. Start with the Bat, (which was actually my least favorite but still good) and work your way through the series. The main character, Harry Hole, is not you typical detective due to his alcohol problems, but he always manages to solve the case. The author does a great job of giving you the clues to solve it before Harry picks up the trail. You almost want to shake the book and say, "Harry , look the clue is right in front of you."
I would rate this series on par with Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. But this one has more books so you can listen longer.
Redeemer might be another excellent book in the Harry Hole series, except that the narrator does such a poor job as to make the book hard to follow. I almost stopped listening several times, but it's Harry Hole, and I don't quit on Harry!
I know we're used to Robin Sachs, and I was entirely prepared to cut John Lee some slack because inevitably he'll be compared to Sachs. I'm sorry to say that after finishing the book, I'm not prepared to cut him any slack at all. His narration of this book was unacceptable, standing on it's own, without comparison to Robin Sachs.
John Lee doesn't do voices. This makes it difficult to follow the characters. The book skips between characters and places without transition, so I often found myself wondering which "he" was speaking, and where, and about who/what. The transitions weren't marked by pauses of suitable length either, again, making the book hard to follow. Many times I was simply lost, and kept rewinding until I thought maybe I was back in sync. Sometimes it wa just a lost cause and I had to plow on.
This is a shame, because there are good themes and good character development in this book. The title isn't empty, but a theme that runs throughout. In this book, Harry himself seeks personal redemption.
I found myself getting mad at Harry sometimes. Mad at his inability or unwillingness to get sober and stay sober. Maybe Harry's mad at himself for the same reasons, and that's one reason he seeks redemption. Decide for yourself, I won't give away the book!
We also wonder about the future of his love for Rakel, Is there a future at all?
This almost felt like it might be a last book in the series. I hope not.
If there is a next book, I do hope they'll try a different narrator