Nesbo's fixation on Harry Hole's alcoholism just destroys this first novel of the series. And the whores, fights, and poor storyline. You can see th..Show More »e latent writing skills that get progressively better with each sequel. I've sought out and read all the subsequent Harry Hole novels before finding this audiobook (except Cockroaches), and they've been great. (The latest "Police" is a masterpiece".) But, if I had read this one first, I would never have gone further. It's THAT bad.
Returning to an earlier time has its advantages and its disadvantages. On the upside, you know the characters well (perhaps better than the author wou..Show More »ld have intended). On the downside, the story is not as fresh because you have read hints of it before and the plot lines are a little less mature (from a developmental perspective). Both of these attributes were apparent to me in this listening. Overall, I felt the book suffered as a result and if I'd had the opportunity to read it in sequence I would have been less critical and more comfortable with the plot. As it was, I thought the plot was a bit too obvious. I picked the villian very early and the false scents were not enough to throw me off the trail. The last Nesbo I listened to before this one was less obvious, I feel sure. Of course, Harry is more advanced as a character now too, so this was a throwback to a troubled soul at the beginning of a path toward redemption. By now I am very comfortable with Sean Barret's characterisation. There can be no other Hole for me. I am an official convert! I'm pleased I listened to this title, at least so I have all the pieces to date. I am looking forward to re-visiting a slightly more mature and maturing Harry in future installments. No doubt there will be falls from Grace, but Harry is a good metaphor for human fraility. It will be like renewing contact will an old friend. I'm hoping.
If you read reviews of any of the other books in the Harry Hole series, you will notice that Jo Nesbo is held in the highest esteem from listeners of ..Show More »thriller / mystery audio books. There are parts of this 2nd book in the series that are not great, but I never wanted to stop listening and found parts of it enjoyable. Here are some of my thoughts regarding this book:
1) The story was written with very short chapters so that you sometimes got lost with the changing scenery and people. I had to listen to several sections over again. Nesbo's plots are always complex so you had to constantly concentrate while listening. 2) If you try to read the books in some sort of order, you will realize that Nesbo's writing improves dramatically after this 2nd book.I also enjoyed the first book, but it probably got lots of editing and re-work since he was a new author. 3) The narrator, John Lee, was not a great choice for this book. His voice for Harry was acceptable, but his accent and voice for every other character was so affected that it could drive you nuts.
In the end though, there was some interesting scenes and the descriptions of Thailand were good. Give Harry Hole and Jo Nesbo another try. My favorite is "The Snowman."
If you have read my review of "The Bat" (Book 1 in this series) then you will know that I opted to listen to this ahead of my planned read because I e..Show More »njoyed Book 1 and, you might have inferred, that I was engaged by Harry Hole as a character (vomit and all). So, was that the correct decision? Absolutely! This is a better book than Book 1. The plot here is complex and you need to listen to each part carefully. The threads are all there (as they were in "The Bat"), so there is no slight of hand Shaitana-like revelation of the Agatha Christie type, here. In fact, like "The Bat", the perp' is no surprise when revealed, but the why and what for is worth the wait. (Spoiler alert), not every mystery is put to bed here, so I am expecting the unresolved part to feature in future installments. The plot here is much more Larsson-like. There are neo-Nazis and corrupt officials scattered generously throughout the Norse public service. However, it has it's own distinctive feel. Perhaps it's because Harry's vice (drink) is so much easier to relate to than Blomkvist's (women he has no bases to aspire to - Australians call this "punching above your weight"). We can all have more drink than we need, but can one ever be fortunate enough to love every woman one might have wanted to, especially when one is me? I like Harry more than I liked Blomkvist. I liked this book a lot. My only regret is that (like Larsson) it seems that Nesbo's women don't get a good run in this Scandavian crime genre. Maybe that will change in Book 4. For now, I have had to deliberately stop myself from reading Book 4. Again, Sean Barrett is very good; proving he can do German accents, too. Read it at your peril, because you may be compelled to read the next installment, too!
If you're like me then you found this book because you read the Snowman, loved it, and decided to read the whole series. And then, like me, this revie..Show More »w is meaningless to you. You will buy it, without finishing the review, you will listen to it. You will love it. And then you'll buy the next one. So let me validate that decision. Do it. Buy the book. Buy the series. You'll LOVE it.
There, glad that's over with. The rest of you, then, have not read any of the Harry Hole series and have found that while there were two written before the Redbreast, this is the first on Audible. So you're wondering if, given the series' incomplete nature, it's worth reading. I'm glad you asked! YES, YES, YES, YES. It's worth it. This is an amazing series that only gets better with time.
In essence, the series is about a middle aged detective named Harry Hole who is lonely, sad and a recovering alcoholic. Not many people like him, but - as you would expect from a detective series - he's wonderful at his job. He better be, he has nothing else in his life. This book finds him involved with neo-natzis, brutal murders and a sad history with Norwegian solders who fought on the wrong side in WWII. We bounce through time as a tale of dispair and modern day aggression takes hold of your throat. And it doesn't let go.
As I said when i reviewed the Snowman. This series doesn't try and re-invent the wheel (a brilliant but disturbed detective, a series of murders, an investigation in the proverbial heart of darkness). You've seen this stuff before. What Jo Nesbo does is take these cliches and does them better, with more intelligence and more humanity and more depth than you've ever seen before. It's a wonderful series. And it begins here. So you might as well get started.
In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, N..Show More »esbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.
Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as well as his new love relationship and the death of his partner, finds himself caught up in trying to solve a murderous bank robbery while trying to convince his superiors that his partner's death is - contrary to their belief - still unsolved and that he should be allowed to pursue an investigation into it.
This is a compelling entry in the series, with rich characterizations and impeccable plotting.
Couldn't listen to the narrator after five minutes. And I've just listened to three other Nesbo books in the Harry Hole series in the last two weeks. ..Show More »It's the narrator...who is markedly less effective in reading this Norwegian novel translation than Robin Sachs. Perhaps he can read a western...dunno...but this book is way out of his skill set. So disappointing that Nesbo and Audible ought to bite the bullet and pay Robin Sachs to redo this version...I bought the book...I'm reading it on my Iphone Kindle app...
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 ..Show More »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.
Dynamite outing by Nesbo. I would call it a page-turner if there were pages. Captivating, fun and with the usual Nesbo twists and turns. It will speed..Show More » your commute, ease the pain of your workout, or provide a not-so-soothing time alone with a peculiar evil.
This was my third Nesbo novel and, on balance, I enjoyed it the most. The "Prince" was never quite believable to me but the action was the strength of..Show More » these first reads. Redeemer is equally action packed and gets 4 stars because of a writing technique that is clever but tittitating. Chapters begin with a seeming continuation of the prior chapter only to be jolted later by discovering that Nesbo has changed character on the reader without the use of a proper noun or other identifying trait to signal the switch.
Corruption is everywhere in this book. We find corruption in the business world and the police department, which is usual, but now we find it in the Salvation Army!!! The ending expands the circle of corruption to an icon of respectability in Nesbo's world. And the shadow of corruption now appears on Harry's path. Did Harry do the right thing?
The Redeemer is the 6 th in the series, but you don't have to follow the books in order. It is another riveting suspense/ mystery / thriller from Nesb..Show More »o. I think it is every bit as good as The Snowman, Devil's Star and The Bat.
Once again Nesbo exposes Harry Hole as the brilliant, vulnerable, articulate detective we know him to be. The mystery itself is complicated and entirely unique.
John Lee does an outstanding job reading. The audio version is dedicated to the memory of Robin Sachs, who died earlier this year.
I realize this review assumes you have some experience or knowledge of this series. If you don't, investigate the series further and start where you like. All I can say is that Jo Nesbo is the best novelist in this genre I've ever read.
Excellent story telling. Great narration. I love Michael Connelly's books, and his reccomendation of this author contributed to my decision to buy The..Show More » Snowman. The story is complicated - full of twists and unexpected turns. Characters have a lot of depth. I'll listen to more Jo Nesbo.
Certainly a gripping, can't-put-it-down, finish-it-in-the-wee-hours book, but it's also almost a horror story. One more gruesome killing of a terrifie..Show More »d woman, one more child with evil seething around him, and one more bout of Harry's horrific lapses into booze, and I'd have to put this one down as horror rather than mystery or crime. But the character development, the plotting, the pacing and the building of tension are all absolutely professional and highly impressive.
On the down side, there are a few unnecessary clichés: the relatively incompetent and sexist underling male cop who looks askance at the new and more competent female cop. Has that one not been done enough yet? (Mind you, maybe it was still somewhat fresh back when the novel was originally penned!) And Harry's battle with booze. I am so tired of cops and detectives with a drinking problem. The only thing different about Harry's drinking is that it's horrible to read about - that one scene where he's already drunk and then goes home, opens a bottle of hard stuff and starts just draining it practically made me ill.
But these are quibbles, really. I'll be reading more about Harry soon, I'm sure, since I've pretty much exhausted P. D. James, John le Carré and Stieg Larsson.
On the unbelievability index, it rates about a 7 out of 10, especially toward the end, wehere things get a tad out of control, but that's about par for the course in cop/thriller/whodunnits, so no surprises there. Sean Barraett outstanding with the delivery of the story
Thrillers were never my genre of choice before discovery of the Millenium series. I tended to find them too much to a formula resulting in a degree of..Show More » samness
Like many I suspect, I went wandering in the literary wilderness of a world without Salender on completion of the series (and a second listen). I found Joe Nesbo on the reccommendation of a friend and have no hesitation in applying the accolade of my review title to all the ones I have read so far, The Snowman, The leopard and The Redeemer.
In many ways these stories are better even than the Milenium series, especially if you take Salender out of the mix. Holer is a great main character, sufficiently floored without being a train wreck, and the writing is tight and well drawn.
Two Ticks, two gold stars, and that most extreme of accolades awarded here in New Zealand, a chocolate fish!
I have to say I've enjoyed the Harry Hole series just as much as the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, if not more. The detective work is fascinating and clever...Show More » The infighting and inter-dept police politics bring both frustration and humor to this remarkable novel.
Best of all we are blessed to see inside the mind of a genious detective and possibly the best hero I've encountered in any series. Buy this book! You will not regret it.
What has happened to our "hero" Harry Hole? Never a matinee idol, a current description of Harry is starting to sound like an introduction to a monst..Show More »er. A towering 6'4"' Harry's face now has more scars than a plastic surgery ward. And when I first started listening in on the Hole saga, there was humorous cultural commentary woven throughout the unfolding story. Lately following Harry is a dark, sometimes tedious, journey into the worst of human nature with no comic relief. Harry is constantly physically attacked, piling on more scar tissue as he goes. You can just imagine Nesbo wreaking his revenge on his signature character and defining a love - hate relationship. And at the end of this book, you may wonder if we have seen the last of our old pal Harry. Certainly, it seems, any chance he ever had of personal happiness is doomed. I don't know if I will tune into his next chapter. Jo Nesbo, lighten up and show your guy Harry a little love!
If this isn't your first Harry Hole novel, all you really need to know that Police is every bit as good as Snowman, The Bat and Devil's Star. And it's..Show More » read by the best British narrator, john Lee.
If you've never listened to a book by Jo Nesbo, now is the time to start. It's the best in its genre including all the great American and British works. The police work is gritty, meticulous, competitive and brilliant. The story is simply magnificent. It's mystery is unique and, well, mysterious.
Sometimes I hate reviewing books because I simply cannot devote the time to do it justice. Do yourself a favor and listen to Police.