Following from Jo Nesbø's electrifying international best sellers The Snowman and The Leopard, now comes Phantom, which plunges the brilliant, deeply troubled, now former police officer Harry Hole into a full-tilt investigation on which his own tenuous future will come to depend.
When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong - fleeing the traumas of life as a cop - he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn't help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city's highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.
©2012 Jo Nesbø (P)2012 Random House Audio
The best crime novel I've listened to in a long, long time. I had to rewind the end twice to be sure I heard right! It was a shocker! In this novel, Harry Hole is every bit the tortured detective with a heart of gold and penchant for self torment. The other characters are also deeply layered. Jo Nesbo eloquently illustrates the thinnest strands of the human heart that seem to tether us to one fate or another. A bad decision, an impulse, such tiny things can have such an effect on our lives. The twists are frequent, and don't fall into the typical cliches that poison so much crime fiction. In retrospect, I could have predicted some of the plot reversals, but an unconscious sense of optimism blinded me to what should have been obvious. The end result was a book that was very tense- when the traps were sprung, I gasped! Listening to the heartbreak that Harry has, and also brings to others, was at times stomach churning.
I love Robin Sachs elegant, tough and exhausted portrayal of the guy whose live is defined by his failures. Infinitely listenable.
Nesbo is at the top of his game in this exciting addition to the Harry Hole oevre. Anyone who hs enjoyed Snowman or other books in the series should definitely listen to Phantom.
I would recommend this to anyone who is a mystery/thriller lover. Harry Hole is one of the most engaging characters in modern crime fiction.
Except for the identity of the phantom the story kept me guessing the whole time.
Ph.D. Psychologist and Coach
I've read and enjoyed all of Jo Nesbo's books but I found this one too long. Twist, after twist, after twist became tedious. I could have used a few less characters and a few less hours of narration. Didn't really appreciate the rat's point of view either.
Robin Sachs did his usual wonderful job narrating.
I just had a very hard time getting into it. I listened for about 2 hours, but I never seemed to get involved. I listen on several devices, and sometimes they didn't sync up and I'd listen for about 10 minutes where I thought I was, and suddenly I'd realize I'd already heard that part. Obviously I wasn't involved if I didn't even remember hearing parts of the story.
I wouldn't say never, but I won't go looking their work again.
I guess, judging by my above comments, it just wasn't very engaging.
I've heard a lot of good things about the book, it just didn't seem to fit my style.
I am a huge Nesbo fan. Have been waiting for this book since it was posted in the "Coming Soon" list....But, what can I say? I was sorely disappointed.
Perhaps it's the underlying theme that I found so depressing...but some of the scenes about the drug or alcohol craving seemed to go on and on -- and to repeat themselves throughout the book. Mr. Sachs, who is usually pitch-perfect for Nesbo books (making English sound like a Nordic language in some crazy way), made the depressing scenes even worse.
One of the narrative ploys (having a dying boy tell his life story) seems a tad too easy...and also drags. Every time we returned to him, I groaned...
The plot does come together nicely at the very end -- with some surprises -- but by then it's too late. I wanted it over with.
I am amazed that some people found the plot riveting. I didn't.
Until now I was happy that Mr. Nesbo was so prolific...Perhaps I can wait a little longer next time and get another Nesbo gem.
Noir, character & suspense.
He has developed Harry Hole into a believable, sympathetic w/flaws character.
Yes, author always keeps me gripped.
Great series that "Scandinavian" mystery lovers will enjoy, although some warning on violence.
After the unrelenting thrills and turns in "The Snowman" and "The Leopard," this book is a little slower and more damaging. I agree with all the other reviewers that poor Harry takes a beating, but I think what I love about him as a protagonist is that he's this dogged unsquashable cockroach who keeps coming through death trap after death trap. He's a very unique detective at this point, and in such a crowded genre, that's a feat in itself. And as Scandanavian crime goes, I <3 Nesbo more than even Larson at this point.
Overall, "Phantom" is slower-paced and uses a different narrative style to unravel the mystery (but ultimately a very effective one) - I was skeptical at first, but the parallel narrative ends up paying off in spades at the end. Obviously, word's gotten out that something shocking happens in this book and I won't comment on that except to say that it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book in the slightest.
It's a smaller, more personal story than the previous two books. I think if you know that going in you won't be disappointed. Robin Sachs is, as always, an amazing reader on these books. He's creepy and deliberate and his style marries with the text in this grim, plodding, croaking way that let me experience the audiobook like I was was watching a first-rate movie in my head.
I work in mine-action (landmines) travel a lot. Murder and mayhem is my favorite category…but, I love great books pretty much of any kind!
I really like Jo Nesbo's books, but with this book, for the first time, I found myself wandering, putting it down and struggling to pick it up again. It still has the Nesbo style, which I consider excellent, but it's not up to the calibre of his other books.
I don't want to spoil the book for anyone else, perhaps I can say that he goes to the same end with the one love in his life...at the end of every book...there are the ups...and then the lowest low.
This is the first time that none of the scene's stay in my mind, none are so memorable.
Nesbo has an incredible style of writing that holds me, keeps me listening, until the very last page. I have to admit that I just fell asleep listening to this book, over and over...and don't even know if I listened to the end...it didn't seem to matter. I started another book.
Replace it with james Patterson or David Baldacci books!
Slow, meandering, plodding, very slow delivery by reader, couldn't get to the end it was so boring.
Very slow, not a good reading, did not maintain my interest.
None that I can remember, apart from maybe being a good sleep aid
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