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
Complex, believable plot with a lot of twists and turns.
After a slow start, it's very fast-paced.
He brought the characters to life
No, too involved, need a break to digest the plot
I particularly enjoyed learning about Norway's WW II history and the involvement of some of its citizens with the Nazis. Nesbo's writing puts the reader into the middle of the action and gives the story an immediacy not often achieved by authors.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
This is my second book by Jo Nesbo (read The Snowman earlier), and I am just blown away. It is rare to add an author to my all-time favorites list. I love to listen to thrillers and smart mysteries during my commute to work. Jo Nesbo provides all that I require and so much more. If you enjoy characters like Lisbeth Salander, Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher, you will love Harry Hole. I can't wait to get to know him better with more audible books. I even had several chuckles when Harry would think or say something that I thought was so witty, clever and "spot on" for the occasion. I wouldn't have minded if this book had been twice the length.
Now for the story -- wow. I definitely did not know much about Norway's history of fighting alongside the Nazi's on the Eastern Front during the war, and Norway's recent events with a re-emergence of neo-nazism among a segment of its population. The pacing of the "mystery" was so well done. I can't remember the last time I couldn't wait to get up and go to work so that I could listen to more of the audiobook.
Robin Sachs is "Harry Hole" in my mind. No one else could do it better. I love his delivery and enjoyed learning the Norwegian pronunciation of locations and names.
Please Mr. Nesbo, keep up the excellent writing. I can't wait to devour your book. I have already bought several books for friends with the same reading interests as me. I want my friends and family to associate me with their introduction to Harry Hole.
I base my selections a lot on what kind of reviews I read about a book. I read "The Snowman" and thought it was excellent. Then, I read "The Leopard" and it too was excellent. Then I read all the great reviews (except for one reader) about this book and I've been struggling through 22 chapters and still have no idea what the heck this story is about or where it's going. I'm ready to give up! Again, after investing hours on 22 chapters I absolutely have no idea what this book is about.
Laura the Listener
This is a thriller along the lines of The Millennium Trilogy. Like Steig Larsson's books, this one was suspenseful and good listen overall, but it had some of the same flaws: 1. While most of the characters are believable, there are a few that are just a little too out there. 2. The passion that crosses the line into obsession is hard to buy. 3. I had a hard time keeping track of all the characters. That said, this book had a lot of positives as well: 1. Excellent narrator! He has the voices down perfectly, and when he does his WWII nurse voice, it actually felt like a flashback scene. 2. It's a fun read. I enjoy the main characters, and I liked trying to unravel the mystery. 3. It takes place around 1999-2000 Norway and the Eastern Front of WWII, neither of which I know much about. I found the WWII info especially interesting. I do plan to listen to another of Jo Nesbo's books.
I love the Harry Hole series. May I have more please and if you can have the books narrated by Robin Sachs. The other narrators suck.
This one is set in Norway,,,,I love Harry Hole..the rather rough and troubled central police
inspector. I enjoy the narrator..I'm reading more of the series.
What a pleasure to discover this Norwegian author. A good story with plenty of action, introspection, history, and even love. Well read too. I can't wait to listen to more of them.
Yes, I've read the Snowman and then this book. To get the most out of this series I STRONGLY suggest reading these novels in the correct sequence.
The story was long and drawn out. I kept waiting for a WOW, however I never got it with this book.
The Narrator is phenomenal. Since joining Audible…He’s one of the best I’ve heard so far.
It is worth the time due to learning the background of the Character Harry Hole.
Robin Sachs does a great job! I hope he continues to read the earlier books as they are republished.
Looking forward to Nesbos earlier books in the Harry Hole series. Hope they are all in the works for republishing.
Tell us about yourself!
Thank goodness!! It was painful to hear such an rich character called such a ridiculous name.
Oh...sorry, you will find that out in the next book “Nemesis”. The reviewers for Nemesis object to the reader, Norwegian Thor Knai, but pay no attention. He is a fine, I am happy.
Thus only 4 stars for wonderful Robin Sachs, who should have ASKED.
"The Redbreast"...Hoola does not compare to Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander. Harry has a sweetness and humor (wait for the moving series of calls to a dead friend's answer machine) where Wallander tends to wallow in whiny self pity.
Nesbo compares best to Barbara Vine aka Ruth Rendell. All their characters come to life, their thoughts and deeds, sometime horrific, are made understandable, and you can’t wait to find out where they are leading you.
Slow and confusing to start....bouncing from WW2 to 1990/2000....then the characters burst into my consciousness and I had to restart as I grew to understand. Loved it.
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