Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier’s head, and tells her to count to 25. When he doesn’t get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.
After a drunken evening with his former girlfriend, Anna Bethsen, Police Detective Harry Hole wakes up at home with a headache, no cell phone, and no memory of the past 12 hours. That same day, Anna is found shot dead in her bedroom, making Hole a prime suspect in an investigation led by his hated adversary, Tom Waaler.
Meanwhile, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery, sending rogue detective Hole from the streets of Oslo to steaming Brazil in a race to close two cases and clear his name. But Waaler isn’t finished with his longtime nemesis quite yet.
©2002 Jo Nesbø (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
"Nesbo manages the unlikely feat of exploring the inner life of his lead character in the thorough and compelling manner one associates with, say, Ruth Rendell, while at the same time juggling multiple, interlocking plot strands as dexterously as David Hewson. No doubt about it: Nesbo belongs on every crime-fiction fan’s A-list." (Booklist)
This is a great story - like all the Harry Hole books are. But, the narrator is amateurish and flat. He's such a disappointment compared to Robin Sachs and John Lee who narrate the other books in this series.
It's flat, unbelievable and forced. At times, it actually makes the story difficult to understand.
Worth the listen in the context of the series - thank goodness he doesn't read any of the others!
Harry Hole, the sad detective, is his usual self - a damaged genius. Jo Nesbo is as clever and literate as ever; in fact, he is so well-endowed with clever in this particular book I gave this four stars instead of five. This kind of plotting maze works better for me if it's satiric: it was TOO twisty for a mystery with a straightforward noir tone. This was a Penrose Triangle, or a Tardis (bigger on the inside). Wow. The trouble is I didn't enjoy the story, but I loved the plot. It shouldn't be like that, you know, so ---- four stars.
I hate it when I need to rant, because it's the kind of thing which isn't polite or nice, and a living being is involved - the voice actor or reader. Thor Knai is trying to earn a living, right? He's very likely a good person. His speaking tone is easy on the ear, too. But the delivery? Omg. That is where I want to thwack him upside the head. For such a complicated plot, this voice actor is a disaster. I had to get the physical book to pick up what I couldn't hear from the audible recording.
It was so difficult because Knai mumbles at the end of words while speaking quickly. It wasn't impossible to hear, just hard to process the 'what did he say' quickly while he was moving on to the next sentence. I got left behind in deciphering. His speaking presentation was overly casual and hip, trying so hard to be burnt out and cool, while speaking in a tumbling out quick street manner, hiding a nervousness, the way young white men do when acting street. So, the voice attitude was right for that kind of guy - but that's not what Hole is. Hole is burnt out, in the way of a war veteran who doesn't care anymore because he's discovered the wickedness of the man pulling the levers behind the curtain, hidden from normal people.
The problem with these nervous young fake street guys is they swallow their spoken words as if they are afraid they are mussing up the image they want to project by explaining out loud. It actually reflects an internal awareness of a lack of authenticity. Knai picked the wrong voice character to be. Not only was it not the right guy for Hole, it was hard to hear in presentation - too fast and indecipherable, the way of the immature male.
And Knai never pauses! When the story pauses or changes scene, especially within a chapter, it's better if the reader pauses a few extra beats - it's the only way a listener understands that the previous scene is over, and now another scene is commencing, perhaps with a new character or a flashback or a future event. This reader is not the only guy who speaks on an audible recording without pausing, but golly it made it hard when the plot is so convoluted in the first place!
Thor Knai has a great tone - but he was wrong for the character Hole and this book.
I must wholeheartedly agree with many of the other reviewers...Thor Knai did a poor job on this book. The narration distracts from the storyline to the point that I have to force myself to listen to the book. This is the first Norwegian accent I have heard that would have been at home in Alabama or Louisiana. Robin Sachs is a far superior narrator and I hope that this book is redone with him as narrator. I would pay again to hear it done properly.
I have listened to nearly every Harry Hole, Nesbo from Audible. When Nemesis appeared I wondered what happened as I thought I'd read all of the Harry books....was he reincarnated? I don't know about this book--I could only listen to about 10 minutes of it. I really disliked listening to the narrator. Where is Harry's voice? It has been the same narrator--very raspy Harry voice the entire series and then all of a sudden--a voice not belonging to the character. And the first minutes are so unlike anything else Harry that Nesbo wrote--I just shut down and didn't go further.
I requested credit for this book--as I could not listen to it. A FIRST for Nesbo.
Who ever selected the reader hadn't read any of the books. Books are written and translated with a certain tone and pace, this reader failed to capture either. This reading was set somewhere in America and not in Oslo. I eventually stopped listening, I couldn't stand the narration.
Drop this book from you list.
I would try another book from Jo Nesbo but only if it was narrated by someone other than Thor Knai. I listened to Redbreast and it was a good listen although I think sometimes it loses something in the translation.
The story was good. It keeps you guessing.
Thor Knai needs to understand punctuation. He reads as if there is a comma after every five words. He sounds as if he's in fifth grade, nervously reading in front of the whole class. I will never buy another Audible book narrated by him.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
I'm still not a fan of the main character, Harry Hole (pronounced like Hoola); and BTW, I'm not sure if the pun is intended or not. After all, the books were originally written in Norwegian.
There must be something here, 'cause I keep using my credits on this series. For those who don't know, Harry is a bit damaged as a human being, but his heart is in the right place. If you are a fan of detective fiction, think Jesse Stone.
The story lines are good to maybe even clever, so I'll give the next in the series a go. I enjoyed the narration in this one. I wasn't captivated by Thor Knai, but the work is easily competent or better. It's not at all necessary to experience the series in order, at least up to this point. There are a couple of references to earlier cases, but nothing that would be a spoiler for the earlier books or prevent your enjoyment of this one. So, if this sounds like your thing, pick any of the series up to this point, and give Nesbo a try.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I wish there were 50 books in this series. I am struggling with something new to say about Jo Nesbo and his incredible talent. If I go back to my other Nesbo reviews, I find I am repetitive with words like brilliant, unique, scary, great characters and a wonderful main character, Harry Hole.
All of those descriptions are the same with this book, yet every book in the series is so different. All of them have a very full story, twists that make you gasp and heart-thumping action. I laugh, get mad and get a tear in the eye from very moving and emotional scenes. To me, these books remind me why I love to read so much. As I get closer and closer to reading all of his books, I get worried that few authors will be able to grab me in the same way. So, Mr. Nesbo, please -- write faster!!
Now, nothing is ever perfect. I do agree that Thor Knai was not a good narrator after the incredible performances of Sean Barrett and Robin Sachs in previous books. By the way, I was sick to hear about Robin Sachs' death this year. His work as an actor and narrator was stunning. What a great loss.
Lastly, you will need to pay close attention as the story is very complex and required re-listening to lots of passages. The names and places began to sound alike, but you need to keep it all straight. It is worth the effort.
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Not for quite a while. It is hard for me to listen to this kind of story already knowing who did what.
The plot kept me guessing all the way. Twists, turns, and reversals along with characters to like, and to dislike enough to feel invested in the story and wanting to listen as long as possible.
Yes, he did a good job with a difficult circumstance. It can be very hard to voice a character after someone else has established a following with their own interpretation.
Nothing extreme, just enjoyment from a well written and well narrated story.
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