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.
"Absorbing, gripping thriller."
This is the conclusion to Nesbo's trilogy, following on from The Redbreast and Nemesis. Detective Harry Hole is once again investigating a series of complex murders. On this case he is teamed up with a colleague that Harry believes is a corrupt killer. In the earlier books in the trilogy Harry has failed to prove his fellow detectives guilt.
This book has complex characters, wonderfully placed in bizarre and life threatening situations. Nesbo has the gift of making the reader feel uneasy in every chapter. The authors words are brought to life by narrater Sean Barrett, who never fails to add something special.
The book builds to a crescendo, I was unable to stop listening and felt disappointed when it had to end.
One of Jo Nesbo's best.
"Hard to Take Earphones off!"
A beautifully crafted story which all pulls together into a powerful conclusion. The narrator is highly skilled and provies clear cut voices to the characters which makes for a powerful and precise listening experience. The tale is modern and does not avoid honest language when the characters demand it, but ths is not over-offensive and adds to the pace of events. if you enjoy modern detective crime, it is a must-have. I am devastated to have got to the end of my listen to this book and will sulk unreservedly.
"Jo Nesbo does it again with Harry Hole"
Having bought paperback versions of Jo Nesbo books and enjoyed his complicated plots and wonderful use of language I thought I'd like to have the same stories read to me...and they are wonderful. Riding along on the sonerous tones of Sean Barretts voice the plots spread before you and the once read words marry with the spoken images seamlessly. For me Harry Hole is alive, a flawed detective uncertain of his powers and well aware as to the depth of his failings. There are tragic moments when Harry is enveloped in nightmares that spill into his reality though unbeknown to him actually focus the perception that makes him the excellent, though misunderstood, detective he is. I have now heard all the Harry Hole stories and recommend them 100%.
"the Devil's Star"
not only an exciting and intriguing story line in terms of a thriller, but a portrayal of a very human, flawed and strangely lovable main character, who despite all of his personal problems has real integrity and loyalty. It also tackles to some extent the social issues of drug use, alcoholism, racism and sexuality in a sensitive yet direct manner, and the narrative held me from start to finish - its a book one can listen to several times over and still enjoy. I can highly recommend it.
Harry Hole is one of life's difficult people. Plagued by demons and always doubting his own ability he can be relied upon to do the right thing sometimes very badly. It is this vulnerability that forces you to read (listen) on. You can't help but think he has blown it (again) but you want him to somehow turn it around. His ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is both frustrating yet compelling. "How is he going to come back from this?" you think after his latest lapse. It is this weakness in his character that Jo Nesbo uses to such good effect to draw us in. As much as we are disappointed by his faults we want him to come out on top. The story is well paced and the denouement is so well disguised despite all the clues being put in place as you read.
"James Kelly The Devils Star"
None stop listening with brilliant narration once again from Sean Barrett. I was unable to leave this audio device down out of my hands
"The Devil's Star, Jo Nesbo"
great plot & characters, the pace goes fast then slow, gripping in places and complex to follow in others
but all the little clues fit together in the end! Some over description /padding in places.
"The Devils Star"
I just want to say ,i have enjoyed every Jo Nesbo book i have downloaded,This again did not let me down.
I love how Harry Hole continued in these books,You love him or hate him,but at the end of the day hes a dam good detective,If you like Jo Nesbo then go for it!
I've now read all of his Harry Hole books (well, listened to them whilst out walking my dogs). great narrator - so upset to have read the last one in the series!
"One of the best..."
Great story! Put to rest some of the threads from previous books which were ready to be closed. Brilliant timing & twists not a predictable end.
Harry H at his best.
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