Harry is on a special mission.
Detective Harry Hole arrives in a steaming hot Bangkok. The Norwegian ambassador has been found dead in a seedy motel room, and Harry has been sent to investigate. It’s clear that the Ambassador’s family are hiding some secrets of their own, but few people are willing to talk. He needs to solve a crime and avoid a scandal.
When Harry lays hands on some incriminating CCTV footage, things only get more complicated. The man who gave him the tape goes missing, and Harry realises that failing to solve a murder case is by no means the only danger that faces the unwary. But in an unfamiliar city, who can you trust?
©2013 Jo Nesbo 1998, published by agreement with Salomonsson Agency. English translation © Don Bartlett 2013. (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Returning to an earlier time has its advantages and its disadvantages. On the upside, you know the characters well (perhaps better than the author would have intended). On the downside, the story is not as fresh because you have read hints of it before and the plot lines are a little less mature (from a developmental perspective). Both of these attributes were apparent to me in this listening.
Overall, I felt the book suffered as a result and if I'd had the opportunity to read it in sequence I would have been less critical and more comfortable with the plot. As it was, I thought the plot was a bit too obvious. I picked the villian very early and the false scents were not enough to throw me off the trail. The last Nesbo I listened to before this one was less obvious, I feel sure. Of course, Harry is more advanced as a character now too, so this was a throwback to a troubled soul at the beginning of a path toward redemption.
By now I am very comfortable with Sean Barret's characterisation. There can be no other Hole for me. I am an official convert!
I'm pleased I listened to this title, at least so I have all the pieces to date. I am looking forward to re-visiting a slightly more mature and maturing Harry in future installments. No doubt there will be falls from Grace, but Harry is a good metaphor for human fraility. It will be like renewing contact will an old friend. I'm hoping.
Perhaps it is unwise to publish books out of the order in which they were written..but that is exactly what I would have changed. I have read that this was not a choice made by the author of course. Even if this novel was extensively reworked and/or re-translated, it remains a far lesser work than the subsequent novels by Nesbo.
How heartening to know that his writing could and did improve.
Very very tough to say. I have downloaded two more novels and been repelled by the narrator of one and the unmitigated morose content of the other.
My time was spent selecting the films from which so many of the scenes appeared to have been borrowed. The "climactic" almost last scene was utterly redolent of the film " Bladerunner" which accomplished the mood and emotion a tonne better. Sorry. It seems disloyal to say this about an author who did better, later.
Please. No. This is a squalid little story with such cardboard cut out figures populating a steamed up cellophane background..except the huge potential Nesbo discovered in the self destructive Harry Høle. Thankfully Harry was salvaged along with a couple of the more substantial, embryonic characters.
For anyone interested in learning a lot about how to make huge improvements in plotting narratives and character development, you would need to look no further than this series of novels. The author's upward trajectory from the insipid, silly " The Bat" through to the more mature novels in this repertoire is hugely interesting. It seems a rare experience to be able to witness such improvement in this genre. Most of the other proponents I am aware of hit a mark first up and then churn out more of the same.
Maybe not the very edge, but the suspense was there along with my curiosity to know more.
Having read the rest of the Harry Hole series prior to reading Cockroaches, I found this to be a giant "flashback" to a character I already knew. It added some background to the other books. The book reamiand a compelling read full of all the interesting twists and wonderful language of Jo Nesbo and Don Bartlett.
"Cochroaches by Jo Nesbo"
Yes. enjoyable story with a clever twist
I’ve previously read all of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole thrillers as books, but decided to give this one a go as an audio book.
The narrator, Sean Barrett does a great job of bringing the characters to life and the story is a good one to. At first I found the Norwegian names (there are also a lot of Thai characters in this one) confusing but I soon got drawn in to the story.
I’ll definitely give other Jo Nesbo books a try as audio books—highly recommended!
"Why did they make us wait so long?"
This is the second Harry Hole novel, but has only just come out on Audible (perhaps only just translated into English?). Sean Barrett is a great narrator, you can tell all the time whose voice is speaking, even before you are told who it is. The story has great twists and turns, several suspects, and references back to relationships and characters in his previous overseas experience in Sydney. Highly recommended.
"I shouldn't have hesitated"
I have listed to all the other books in the series and for some reason, I thought I'd be disappointed in this the second book for Harry Hole. I didn't totally love the first book, but the later ones I simply adored.
I needn't have been worried though and in hindsight I kicked myself for waiting so long to listen to this book. It's really good I'm happy to say.
Good story line and Harry's character really starts to develop. Some lovely twists and turns, Jo really is a wonderful author. I never get bored listening to his books and Sean Barrett... well, what can I say... he's heaven to listen to.
I'd recommend this a thoroughly good listen!
"Much better tha The Bat"
More of a return to Harry Hole form for Jo Nesbo. Sean Barrett's normal fantastic narration(he is the best narrator of audiobooks by some way) was slightly off. His normal Harry vioce seemed higher than usual. Still fantastic.
"A frightening book."
Frightening to learn of just how horrible the human animal can be.
Heartening to follow a few good men's efforts to counterbalance the horrors, and to retrieve some good out of the rottenness.
"Another great story from the Master...."
A great story crafted by a master story teller.
Harry goes from strength to strength
Sean Barrett gets the pronunciation of the Norwegian names just right.
Stretches the mind in trying to solve the plot
Jo Nesbo , excellent.....
Overall a good story but certainly got complicated in places with all the twists and turns. What initially looks like a fairly simple murder of an ambassador in a hotel room turns out to be anything but!
"Great book with excellent narration!"
I've decided to read these in order (mainly as I've only just found them and lucky for me this latest release was not out of sync) as I normally start in the wrong place! Enjoyed the first book very much so moved on to this one. Great book and the narration by Sean Barrett is excellent- he really makes the book and is Harry Hole! I'm now half way through book 3 and enjoying that just as much- will definitely get through the series.
"good to get back to Harry's early expolits"
Harry.. Who else!
as good as all the others... HARRY had a different accent though which threw me
love Jo Nesbo books.. Well narrated
"Nesbo doesn't disappoint"
Another great book from Nesbo and Sean Barrett's voice is like honey. A great story, well read and keeping you guessing
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