It is 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.
In 1999, Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.
The Redbreast won the Glass Key prize for the best Nordic crime novel when it was first published, and was subsequently voted Norway’s best crime novel. The Devil’s Star, Nesbø’s first novel featuring Harry Hole to be translated into English, marked Nesbø as a writer to watch in the ever more fashionable world of Nordic crime.
©2007 Jo Nesbo (P)2011 Random House Audio
The narration seemed a bit slow in the beginning, but as you progress through the book it begins to make sense. This is the first in the series that leaves part of the mystery to the next book, compelling one to go on. Harry Hole is likable while being damaged, as many of these detectives are.
The saddest part were the voice messages that Harry leaves Ellen, describing his feeling that he has such difficulty revealing to others.
I'm happy that there are 10 books in this series - I keep running out of books to listen to while gardening!
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Yes! With this #3 book in the Harry Hole series, Jo Nesbo has reached his stride and has written a tense and exciting thriller/crime novel. I particularly liked this book because the reader gets to see how Harry Hole meets Raquel (the woman he is so in love with in later books) and find out Raquel's "interesting" background. Having started with some of the later Harry Hole books, I was disappointed when I went back to the beginning with the #1 and #2 books (The Bat and The Cockroaches), but having enjoyed this book so much, I'm now ready to continue on to #4, Nemesis.
Retired systems analyst; Lover of music, art, travel, technology, birds, Caribbean, scuba; Favorite audiobook genres: mystery, biography, travel, humor, fiction
I rank this 4 out of 5. I intend to read the whole series (no pun intended). This was a good story although it was hard to follow because to the American ear (at least to mine), the last names all sounded the same. I found I had to write them down and refer to a spreadsheet until I understood who was who.
As with all the other books in this Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo, this book was enthralling. Exciting from start to finish. Always hard to figure out who the bad guy will be. Love the Harry Hole character.
Jo Nesbo is such a great story teller. His stories as well developed. His characters are interesting. I wish some of our American writers, those that "crank" out book after book, would do the work they clearly are capable of. Nesbo can serve as an example.
The first book I've read in the Harry Hole series and now I'm hooked! Intelligent and interesting, it's a thriller with thought.
Robin Sachs is by far the best narrator of audible books! I'm currently listening to each of the Nesbo books he narrates.
This novel has been called the greatest Norwegian mystery novel ever written. I certainly thought it was marvelous. The parallel story that takes place during WWII is expertly interwoven with the main story line. The opening events during the visit of President Clinton provide a nice contrast with the closing. Mr. Sachs was a wonderful actor, a fabulous narrator, and truly the voice of Harry Hole. I will miss him.
Just finished my first Nesbo book. Great performance and story. A different perspective of WWII with an unpredictable ending to the story. I'm ready now for another Nesbo book.
This is my fist Jo Nesbo book. It was an excellent introduction! The story hooked me almost immediately. The story line was absorbing but sometimes difficult to follow. The narrator was excellent; I always knew when he changed characters. The only issue I had was trying to keep track of all the characters in the parallel story line; which may not of been an issue had I read the book instead of listening. Considering the narration, I'm glad I listened to this book. For my next Jo book, I may decide to read it so that I may better understand the characters and their relationship to the story, quicker. Since I mostly listen to books while I'm driving, it isn't possible to write down notes.
The complexity of historical fact, multiple characters and hidden identities really made this a great read. Nesbo is Mankell with a brutal edge.
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