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Publisher's Summary

Harry is on a special mission.

Detective Harry Hole arrives in a steaming hot Bangkok. The Norwegian ambassador has been found dead in a seedy motel room, and Harry has been sent to investigate. It’s clear that the Ambassador’s family are hiding some secrets of their own, but few people are willing to talk. He needs to solve a crime and avoid a scandal.

When Harry lays hands on some incriminating CCTV footage, things only get more complicated. The man who gave him the tape goes missing, and Harry realises that failing to solve a murder case is by no means the only danger that faces the unwary. But in an unfamiliar city, who can you trust?

©2013 Jo Nesbo 1998, published by agreement with Salomonsson Agency. English translation © Don Bartlett 2013. (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Retrospective

Returning to an earlier time has its advantages and its disadvantages. On the upside, you know the characters well (perhaps better than the author would 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disloyalty feels uncomfortable

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Perhaps it is unwise to publish books out of the order in which they were written..but that is exactly what I would have changed. I have read that this was not a choice made by the author of course. Even if this novel was extensively reworked and/or re-translated, it remains a far lesser work than the subsequent novels by Nesbo.
How heartening to know that his writing could and did improve.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Very very tough to say. I have downloaded two more novels and been repelled by the narrator of one and the unmitigated morose content of the other.

Which scene was your favorite?

My time was spent selecting the films from which so many of the scenes appeared to have been borrowed. The "climactic" almost last scene was utterly redolent of the film " Bladerunner" which accomplished the mood and emotion a tonne better. Sorry. It seems disloyal to say this about an author who did better, later.

Do you think Cockroaches needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Please. No. This is a squalid little story with such cardboard cut out figures populating a steamed up cellophane background..except the huge potential Nesbo discovered in the self destructive Harry Høle. Thankfully Harry was salvaged along with a couple of the more substantial, embryonic characters.

Any additional comments?

For anyone interested in learning a lot about how to make huge improvements in plotting narratives and character development, you would need to look no further than this series of novels. The author's upward trajectory from the insipid, silly " The Bat" through to the more mature novels in this repertoire is hugely interesting. It seems a rare experience to be able to witness such improvement in this genre. Most of the other proponents I am aware of hit a mark first up and then churn out more of the same.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Flashback

If you could sum up Cockroaches in three words, what would they be?

Steamy
Suspenseful
Surprising

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Maybe not the very edge, but the suspense was there along with my curiosity to know more.

Any additional comments?

Having read the rest of the Harry Hole series prior to reading Cockroaches, I found this to be a giant "flashback" to a character I already knew. It added some background to the other books. The book reamiand a compelling read full of all the interesting twists and wonderful language of Jo Nesbo and Don Bartlett.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb

Fantastic book with a great performance.
Highly recommend this to all fans of crime fiction.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • craigmore, Australia
  • 12-19-14

cockroaches

Would you listen to Cockroaches again? Why?

maybe at a later date it was a resonable story

What did you like best about this story?

differant type of detective

What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

it is easier to listen as i drive a lot so reading a book is hard to do

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

no it was a good story though

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 12-08-13

Cochroaches by Jo Nesbo

Would you listen to Cockroaches again? Why?

Yes. enjoyable story with a clever twist

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

Harry Hole!

Any additional comments?

I’ve previously read all of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole thrillers as books, but decided to give this one a go as an audio book.

The narrator, Sean Barrett does a great job of bringing the characters to life and the story is a good one to. At first I found the Norwegian names (there are also a lot of Thai characters in this one) confusing but I soon got drawn in to the story.

I’ll definitely give other Jo Nesbo books a try as audio books—highly recommended!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Toadkin
  • 12-05-13

Why did they make us wait so long?

Would you listen to Cockroaches again? Why?

This is the second Harry Hole novel, but has only just come out on Audible (perhaps only just translated into English?). Sean Barrett is a great narrator, you can tell all the time whose voice is speaking, even before you are told who it is. The story has great twists and turns, several suspects, and references back to relationships and characters in his previous overseas experience in Sydney. Highly recommended.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nana
  • 02-02-14

Much better tha The Bat

More of a return to Harry Hole form for Jo Nesbo. Sean Barrett's normal fantastic narration(he is the best narrator of audiobooks by some way) was slightly off. His normal Harry vioce seemed higher than usual. Still fantastic.
Thanks again

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Duncan
  • 08-01-14

Hardly Harry

Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbo? Why or why not?

I've listened to all of Nesbo's books now, and whilst it's worth listening to this is the title I've enjoyed least.

Any additional comments?

Nesbo had yet to hit his straps with Harry Hole's character, gruff humour or mannerisms. He needed a bit more hard living, and the best of his stories are still to come.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • angela
  • 02-11-14

I shouldn't have hesitated

I have listed to all the other books in the series and for some reason, I thought I'd be disappointed in this the second book for Harry Hole. I didn't totally love the first book, but the later ones I simply adored.

I needn't have been worried though and in hindsight I kicked myself for waiting so long to listen to this book. It's really good I'm happy to say.

Good story line and Harry's character really starts to develop. Some lovely twists and turns, Jo really is a wonderful author. I never get bored listening to his books and Sean Barrett... well, what can I say... he's heaven to listen to.

I'd recommend this a thoroughly good listen!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • C I H
  • 01-03-14

Another great story from the Master....

Where does Cockroaches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A great story crafted by a master story teller.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harry goes from strength to strength

What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Sean Barrett gets the pronunciation of the Norwegian names just right.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Stretches the mind in trying to solve the plot

Any additional comments?

Jo Nesbo , excellent.....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • VAL G.
  • 12-22-13

COCKROACHES

Overall a good story but certainly got complicated in places with all the twists and turns. What initially looks like a fairly simple murder of an ambassador in a hotel room turns out to be anything but!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy
  • 12-12-13

Great book with excellent narration!

I've decided to read these in order (mainly as I've only just found them and lucky for me this latest release was not out of sync) as I normally start in the wrong place! Enjoyed the first book very much so moved on to this one. Great book and the narration by Sean Barrett is excellent- he really makes the book and is Harry Hole! I'm now half way through book 3 and enjoying that just as much- will definitely get through the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Farnham_red
  • 08-31-15

I preferred this to The Bat

Would you be willing to try another book from Jo Nesbo? Why or why not?

Yes stories are quite good only listened to 2 but will definitely try the next

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Only listened to The Bat. Both very well narrated. Happy to see he has done the other Harry Hole books as well

Any additional comments?

My second Harry Hole book after being recommended them. It's a decent story and well narrated. I don't particularly like the main character though which is stopping me falling in love with the series so far. I'll certainly carry on for the next book or two though because it is well written and narrated and has a few clever twists. Others seem to think later books are better so we will see

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 01-27-14

A frightening book.

Frightening to learn of just how horrible the human animal can be.
Heartening to follow a few good men's efforts to counterbalance the horrors, and to retrieve some good out of the rottenness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • liz
  • 10-19-17

amazing

the narration is amazing you lose yourself in this story not to be missed fantastic

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracey
  • 09-18-16

AWESOMELY FANTASTIC - I'M A NEW FAN

Where does Cockroaches rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up there with The Stieg Larsson Millennium Series, this book is clever, has an extensively well developed story line and the characters are believable.

What other book might you compare Cockroaches to, and why?

Stieg Larsson's Trilogy and Jussi Adler Olssen's Karl Morck Series - I am in love with Scandi Crime!

What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Sean is a genius. Simple. So entertaining, beings the characters to life, is so realistic that when 2 characters are speaking to each other in conversation, it sounds like 2 different people. Sean's voice gives the story, anymore importantly, Harry Hole's character, credibility and gravitas.

Any additional comments?

Start at the beginning and enjoy the whole 10 books in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Barry Baker
  • 06-22-15

Complex absorbing read

Great depiction of Thailand , complex deep characters and plot. Everyman hero.

Narrator brings story to life.