A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil’s star.
Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.
A wave of similar murders is on the horizon. An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, and the five-pointed devil’s star is key to solving the riddle.
©2011 Jo Nesbo (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Harry Hole, am I getting sick of that once handsome, now sort of ragged-around-the-edges, often drunken detective on the Norwegian Police force? I am perhaps feeling a bit impatient with Harry but my interest has not flagged. He is so flawed. How can Harry be so brilliant and so self-destructive? Every little setback sends him back to the bottle and that’s where we find him at the beginning of The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbø.
Harry knows now that fellow police officer Tom Waaler is not the upstanding, stable and well-organized detective he pretends to be. Tom and Harry are at the same level on the police force. Tom has plans to advance. Harry has plans to get through the day. Tom would never experience the strong emotions which tear at Harry. He is no tortured soul. I know Harry believes that Tom Waaler is a crooked cop and that he was involved in the death of Harry’s former partner, Ellen, but I don’t think Harry really realizes how cold-blooded the man who thinks of himself as The Prince is.
Harry has no idea how he will prove what he suspects about Tom and luck is not with him until a series of “ritual” murders leads him to the Prague connection from whence come the red diamond pieces of jewelry shaped like 5-pointed stars (devil’s stars or pentagrams).
Can you guess who the serial killer is before Harry finally figures it out. It is, as usual, a toughie. What connects Tom Waaler with the serial killer? Is there a connection? Is Tom the killer?
This tale is not for the fastidious. Nesbø gives us the most graphic and grisly details found in any of his novels so far. Forensics may be elegant in that it solves murders with science, but the evidence that must be analyzed is frequently made up of the bodily substances we avoid contact with; forensic explorations are often disgusting and not for the squeamish.
Of course, murder is also not for the squeamish. My brain enjoyed this episode in the Harry Hole saga, even if I felt inspired to utter the occasional “gross” or “yuck” about any number of the unpalatable details found in this particular Harry Hole adventure. If The Devil’s Star were made into a movie I would have my eyes covered through a few of the most memorable scenes. When all is said and done and the serial killer is caught and Tom “The Prince” Waaler, who may or may not be the serial killer, is dealt with, the novel ends with an interesting twist and a happy surprise.
Sean Barrett was outstanding with the delivery of the story
My first exposure to this author was the old fashioned visual experience in taking Nesbo's book, "The Redeemer" to read on vacation. That was such a pleasure I decided to plunge into an audio journey with "The Devil's Star". Sean Barrett added immensely to the "Norwegian" feel of this series by correcting my many mispronunciations from the first book. I wasn't even saying the main characters name - Harry Hole - and the authors name - Jo - correctly.
More importantly I was transported to Norway and a first rate crime fiction novel with interesting characters, complex plot lines and a few surprises. I am now officially hooked on this series and I hope that some of those missing books in the collection can be obtained for the growing legion of Nesbo audible listening fans.
When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!
Wish I had listened to this before I heard The Snowman. Now I need to re-listen to it because I think I will appreciate it more. While The Snowman is a fine story of it's own right, hearing The Devil's Star first can only make it a better when you know and understand Harry's backstory. The Devil's Star is a well crafted police procedural and brings Harry's many other issues into the story without weighing down the pace or the listener's enjoyment. I have a few issues with how shallow the criminal element is in this story, but Harry's political/co-worker problem is rich and fills the book with plenty of savory justice and listener enjoyment. This version is well done and I enjoyed the narrator's performance. Now excuse me while I listen to The Snowman again. I'm hoping I'll have to revise my review of Snowman now that I know more about Harry Hole. The Devil's Star is definitely credit worthy.
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
I've read the series totally out of order, but have enjoyed each Harry Hole misadventure.
I'm so happy I can add a writer to my favorites. I am never disappointed by a Jo Nesbo book.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
A good indication of the worth of a series is that each title is an improvement on the one before. Although this might not be the case in a planned trilogy, for example, it must surely be true of a hero or heroine or, as in this case, an anti-hero. Harry is better in this book, there is closure in this book anf Nesbo is cleverer this time too. Just when you think it's Langdon scurrying around out there in a demonic world, you find it might just be Nesbo yanking your chain! Or not?
I enjoyed the adventure of Harry Hole's 5th spin around the block. I enjoyed the quiet familiarity of recognised characters and their continued development. Most of all I enjoyed Barrett's performance and, as foreshadowed in "Nemesis", this has brought a clean sweep of 4s.
Finally, now about half way through the published titles, I am pleased with the decision to start at the beginning. I am looking forward to Book 6. That, I think, remains the best recommendation I can give.
Is this review written in code?
NO, but the code that weaves its way thought this book makes it difficult to put down, or turn off, in this case.
You know the kind. You're listening in your car. You arrive at your destination. And yet you cannot get out of your car. It's that kind of story.
And like his other books, this Jo Nesbø story is brilliantly constructed and wonderfully brought to life by Sean Barrett.
Not your typical hero but a complex and tormented character. Good narration and suspenseful pace make for a worthwhile read.
A very enjoyable journey . I am looking for another Jo Nesbo book now.
"The Devils Stat"
Another great Nesbo thriller brilliantly narrated by the gravelly characterful Sean Barrett - top notch..
My last 5 reads been all Jo Nesbo. And I've already downloaded book 6. Really br8. Can be a little slow at times but on whole 14 hours well spent.
"Another great Nesbo book with excellent narration"
I am so pleased I found these books - it was down to Sean Barrett tho as I'd finished all the Robotham books and was thoroughly hooked! They are read so well and you can't help but be sucked in. The whole series is great and I do think they should be read in order as you get to know the characters, although I know they weren't released in order I didn't find them until book 2 was translated which was lucky for me! Again couldn't stop listening to this book. Now on book 8 and enjoying them all so far.
"Again a fantastic read"
Jo Nesbo never re - visits old ground. Every book breaks new territory and shows us other sides of society. A fanatastic listen again
"Some justice at last"
Jo Nesbo tells a fantastic story. After five books, I feel that I know the Harry Hole character extremely well. He's realistic with many hazardous human flaws - but that's what makes him special. While listening to the story, you can get wound up in all of his flaws and forget just how intelligent he is as a detective!
Without giving the plot away, Harry once again prevails but this time - against who?
"Good old Harry Hole!"
"Good old Harry Hole! Ive just finished the Devil's Star. Another intricately plotted, edge of your seat, thriller, although you know Harry will come through in the end. Such a great character. And it's been great to have the continuing sub-plot surrounding The Prince developing across the last few books. Fantastic narration by Sean Barrett as usual."
"Up to yet I think this villain is the creepiest!"
This is A very clever book with the worlds creepiest badie
Harry of course
I enjoy being able to garden and listen to my story I also enjoy the fact that Sean pronounces the names etc correctly.
Where villains lay beneath your nose!
Brilliant I would recommend to anyone who loves a good yarn.
Complex, Emotional, Dark
Wonderful! was all the way with Harry Hole I wanted to scream and shout at him to get a grip not to give up.. also what deliciously complex characters especially the antag Tom. Gripped from beginning to end I loved the twists turns and assumptions I had first made where tossed out and burned as the story unfolded.
Sean Barret's performance was flawless as usual, you are able easily to distinguish each of the characters, it is like a cinematic reel of film in your head, to me the narrator is just as important as the story it self.
My favourite part had to be the lift scene, the accumulation of years of angst and hostilities between the two foes as there can only be one winner, superbly drawn, tense .
You cannot go wrong with Nesbo, but I would start at the beginning of this story arc if you want the full impact which is '.The Redbreast' and 'Snowman'.
"Harry Hole and The Devil's Star"
This was the last of the 'Oslo Sequence' of Harry Hole novels. This was my favourite Hole novel so far. I enjoyed very much the story and the culmination of the relationship with Tom Waaler. I just couldn't stop listening to this book as I wanted to get to the end and to know the final outcome. I look forward to the next book, 'The Redeemer'.
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