Nesbo's fixation on Harry Hole's alcoholism just destroys this first novel of the series. And the whores, fights, and poor storyline. You can see the latent writing skills that get progressively better with each sequel. I've sought out and read all the subsequent Harry Hole novels before finding this audiobook (except Cockroaches), and they've been great. (The latest "Police" is a masterpiece".) But, if I had read this one first, I would never have gone further. It's THAT bad.
I've already read all the others in the series. All are good, some great! This one is just bad.
I recommend avoiding this one, and start out with the next in the series, which is "Cockroaches". I haven't found "Cockroaches" in audio yet, the next one after that is "Redbreast", which was very good.
No, just turned me off for this author. Wait a sec ... is this gore and sex actually a "genre"?
Almost any other narrator. Brick has this annoying trait of over-dramatizing things. Like trying to sound as if pulp fiction like this actually has something moving and compelling to say. Might work once in a while but he reads every paragraph as if it was from a radio soap opera ... within paragraphs he raises his voice higher up the scale and louder for each phrase. It doesn't help things that the story is mostly third person, and his reading makes an already terrible story start to take on the affect of a really bad Shakespearian stage production. This all comes to a head in the closing scenes, in which you'll marvel over pinpoint aim with Molotov cocktails from far away just as the sacrificial pyre is to be lit . It's enough to make you go lock yourself in the bathroom and slit your wrists. (I guess our author thought "fighting fire with fire" was quite the twist.)
Disappointment over credit wasted. Disappointment over the wasted opportunity for a good yarn, given the good start out of the gate that is served up. Disappointment over the stereotypical and shallow female characters. Weariness with authors who churn out this stuff.
The story has a good gripping start as far as the male protagonist (Vargas ) is concerned. The two female leads are, sadly, pathetic right from the get-go. Beth - allegedly the "strong" Asst. District Attorney - first wanders around the cruise ship as an asexual mother figure for her ungrateful, wanton sister, who soon disappears. About halfway through the story - and it's a long and painful slog - she finally teams up with Vargas - who, of course, falls ludicrously in love with her and they have (as does the main bad guy) the most fantastic sex, many times a night. Spoiler: As a small example of just how bad this tale becomes, along the way she is shot two times in the chest, once in the brain, knocked in the head into unconsciousness at least three different times, physically assaulted a couple of times, raped repeatedly, tied up with rope and/or duct tape a couple times, and set up to be burned alive. And, not to be undone, Vargas and the sister also experience a similar hard row to hoe of torture and beatings, along with the killing of numerous nuns, prostitutes, and other loyal bad guys. If you like this kind of claptrap, then this is the story for you. You have been warned.
Well, I didn't "love" it, but I enjoyed it. It was certainly way better than I expected.
I believe this is a novelization of the movie - so, hard to say. All these post-apocalyptic yarns tend to be pretty formulaic. It holds your interest, and the narration was top notch. But, really now, you kinda really know how it's gonna end, right?
Something European or Nordic noir ...
Not applicable - the material he had to work with was so bad, ... but he has this way of narrating where his voice starts to rise and becomes more uber-dramatic - I don't like it at all.
Ha! The only scene worth keeping is the part where our hero finds the mis-delivered threatening letter.
You've been warned!
If i understand correctly, this is only the second in the Harry Hole series. I've read all the others, and have been addicted to the characters and plots. I'm a big Baltic Noir fan and Nesbo doesn't disappoint. Except for the first two in the Harry Hole series. This one and the one before (set in Australia) just didn't work for me. I was disappointed big time.
I really like this story, until it went off the rails about 75% of the way through. It really was too bad. I liked all the major characters a lot. They were believable and credible. They reacted to weird developments like normal people would. I don't even have a problem with the notion of the building being more than it appears. But once they go through the door into Apartment 14 ... well, the author's story unravels into increasing silliness. I could come up with half a dozen ending scenarios that would make more sense than what's written.
Two aspects: one is that it's a modern day setting (with flashbacks) but told in a style reminiscent of Victorian novels (it actually works very well) and second is the well-told horror story line.
The opening scenes where the urchin is captured in motion on film. Creepy.
I enjoyed this story right up tp the last couple chapters - it never got bogged down and moved at just the right pace to advance the mystery. The ending really should not be a surprise, you're given all the information you need to figure out how this is going to wind up. That's actually the disappointment. It's too predictable.
No. Never re-listen to books.
Sjowall & Wahloo wrote some really fine Nordic noir procedurals, and this is another one.
Not really, I'm not generally a marathon reader. But it's a good tale.
Complex, Gripping, Surprising.
When the villain(s) murder one particularly memorable officer.
"Someone is brutally killing police officers previously linked to unsolved and unrelated murders - but, why?"
I thought I had beat Harry in figuring out who was the murderer, but not why. Turns out I was right ... but there's more to the story. Kudos to Jo Nesbo for such a thriller and such a puzzler, ... even up to the second-last chapter I was still questioning whether I had it right. And, it was only in the last chapter that Nesbo makes all the pieces fall into place.
What a great story!
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