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Headhunters | [Jo Nesbø]

Headhunters

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft.
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Publisher's Summary

With Headhunters, Jo Nesbø has crafted a funny, dark, and twisted caper story worthy of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers.

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night, he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II - and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve’s apartment, he finds more than just the painting. And Clas Greve may turn out to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to Roger Brown.

©2011 Jo Nesbo (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“If you don’t know Nesbø, it’s time to get with it.” (USA Today)

“Like [Stieg] Larsson, Nesbø explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killers where you least expect to find them. . . . [and] his novels are maddeningly addictive.” (Vanity Fair)

“Chances are you’ll be hooked ... as Nesbø lays down a trail rich in Nordic atmosphere and in character-driven development ... Ultimately, though, what sets Nesbø apart is his ability to keep the pages turning with such intellectual dexterity.” (Newsday)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (381 )
5 star
 (148)
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.0 (320 )
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4.2 (317 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda B. San Francisco, Ca 10-20-11
    Linda B. San Francisco, Ca 10-20-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
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    "First time review"

    I've read other novels by Jo Nesbo and this one is unlike the others.This book was frightening without being gory. The darker side of human nature is shown The characters are all unlikeable but compelling. The story is beautifully developed and suspenseful. I highly recommend it as a literary thriller.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Novotny Klamath Falls OR 02-06-14
    Novotny Klamath Falls OR 02-06-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It was just okay....."

    The plot was pretty unbelievable. The Headhunter character....well--I don't want to read any more about him....It lacked the strength of Nesbo's other books and characters and plots. Disappointing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent 05-13-12
    Brent 05-13-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very tight plot. I loved it."
    If you could sum up Headhunters in three words, what would they be?

    Staywith it.


    Any additional comments?

    I almost gave up on this book several times. The lead character is not a likeable guy and he is presented by the narrator as being arrogant and condescending. Turns out that these are both necessary for the plot. Don't give up on it and you will be pleased.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 12-20-11
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2006

    I love mysteries and thrillers the most, sometimes non-fiction business books. Mom, wife, yada, yada, yada...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great beginning, but then it falters."

    This book and its premise about professional headhunters, people who recruit high level professionals for employment, got off to a great start with a great character. Then came a nice, well-placed twist. So far so good. Then, the main character begins an adventure that lasts the majority of the book and requires a HUGE amount of suspension of disbelief. The ending is mildly entertaining but I did not care for Nesbo's methods of exposition through a lot of the book. He's written better ones. I will say the narrator was excellent in all respects.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seneca Baton Rouge, LA, United States 05-08-14
    Seneca Baton Rouge, LA, United States 05-08-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Ok break from Harry Hole"
    Would you try another book from Jo Nesbø and/or Steve West?

    I have read all the Harry Hole books pending the next one soon to be released Narrator was fine.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbø? Why or why not?

    See above.


    What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

    Just read the book. Sounded just like it would sound in my head reading the print edition. No overdone drama and exclamation.


    Do you think Headhunters needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The protagonist is not an action hero, liking for his next conquest (although he's portrayed that way at some points).


    Any additional comments?

    Too many narrow escapes and far too much toughness from a "regular guy" character--understand it is his desperation propelling him to all these feats of strength and skill, but not believable. It's also too much luck that he finds a razor in the car.

    Watch the movie (after reading the book) ! (It's on Netflix.) Rarely seen a film so faithfully follow the plot details of the book (subject to certain things being chopped to keep it feature film length).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 02-02-14
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A dreadul story"

    This disgusting book is entirely about dysfunctional, abominable people. I was hoping that the protagonist (the head hunter) would meet his come-uppance at the end; but the author was not even kind in that regard. I cannot imagine how it came to be highly regarded by others.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David APO, AE, United States 10-15-13
    David APO, AE, United States 10-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Clarkplus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big Ego"

    I loved this book but it was very complicated. The twists and turns were so surprising I had to listen to some several times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gypsy999 09-18-13
    gypsy999 09-18-13 Member Since 2012

    gypsy999

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stick with Harry"

    I'm a fan of Nesbo's series involving Harry Hole, and was curious to read more of his work. The first hour of this book was great, but the story went downhill from there and meandered from gross to boring and back again. Not recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 05-20-13
    Richard Palo Alto, CA, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "Tricky - Jo Nesbø at his best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Headhunters to be better than the print version?

    I love Jo Nesbø books. I even have the book in Norwegian.
    The number of twists and turns is insane. I am absolutely stunned by
    Jo's ability to pull all the threads together at the end.


    What other book might you compare Headhunters to and why?

    Any Harry Hole novel by the same author.


    Which character – as performed by Steve West – was your favorite?

    Roger - the protagonist.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There already is a Norwegian film of this.


    Any additional comments?

    The translation is very good and the narrator is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Great Cacapon, WV, United States 05-03-13
    Helen Great Cacapon, WV, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wicked Good Read!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I thought that it delivered a finely crafted story line with so much suspense that I was almost afraid to keep driving while listening to certain parts.


    What other book might you compare Headhunters to and why?

    I wanted to compare this with the other Jo Nesbo books (I've read them all!) I thought I would miss Harry Hole, but I didn't. Nesbo broke new ground by introducing fascinating and flawed characters, none of whom got a free pass. There was not a single "good guy" in the bunch. I liked the way the action was organized by stages of a perfect interview by which a head-hunter engages a candidate. In this setting, it became the stages by which a person becomes a murderer.


    What about Steve West’s performance did you like?

    He read it with the perfect degree of snobbery and disdain. At first, one thought that Roger would never dirty his hands with foul deeds. But, layer by layer, he became the sinister character that became more deeply involved in murderous crimes.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The fall of the white queen.


    Any additional comments?

    My friends and I can't decide if Nesbo killed Harry Hole at the end of the last book. I hope not, but...sigh....even if that proves to be the end of my favorite character, I will stick with this author. Nesbo is the best out there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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