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
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.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
After "The Bat," I thought I was unsure about this series. Now, I think I understand what it is. I completely enjoyed "Redbreast," but I'm still not won-over. Why? I think it's that I don't like Harry, himself. For new potential readers/listeners, Harry reminds me of Jesse Stone. I have to confess that I only know Jesse from the movies. Strangely, I liked that series of movies in a way that I can't really like Harry. Maybe it's the Tom Selleck effect, since they are similar characters. Some additional credit may go to the translator. I'm amazed at how well humorous elements translate. I would normally expect humor to be a highly cultural phenomena, but you would never know that the novel wasn't originally written in English.
I'm pretty sure I will get the next available installment, but I hope that Harry will become a less damaged character over time. I can only do so much of the damaged, whining, unreliable, drunk before I expect to see some improvement in character. I want characters that I can look up to, eventually. I tell you this so that you can judge for yourself. If you find a permanently damaged personality to be more "realistic," then Harry might be your guy.
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