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Publisher's Summary

When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case.

But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador’s death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to - not even Harry himself.

©2014 Jo Nesbo (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Another excellent thriller, the most popular among his earlier novels and one that casts a cold eye on the reality of expatriate life of some Europeans in Asia." (The Irish Independent)
"Nesbø writes like an angel. As in Lucifer." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Nesbø explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killer where you least expect to find them.... His novels are maddeningly addictive." (Vanity Fair)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Story

The Rest of the Harry Hole Series is Excellent!

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 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."

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Confusing, Glad I Read This Last.

The Harry Hole series remains the best detective series I've experienced in literature. It's a shame some folks may not get past this one. Like a previous reviewer, I found myself going back over chapters as if I missed something.

As for John Lee, I think he's one of the best. His work on Noble House may be the best performance on Audible.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Dissappointing

This is the first Harry Hole book I haven't finished. It was just plain boring, perhaps in part because of John Lee's narration. His voice was annoying, and he didn't differentiate the characters. This made keeping track of the Norwegian and Thai names so difficult that I actually downloaded a sample to my Kindle just so I could identify the cast of characters.

Jo Nesbo is on my favorite authors, and his Harry Hole one of my favorite characters and series. This book however, just didn't make the grade.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 07-12-14

Nesbo is Warming Up Here....

This #2 book in the Harry Hole series was just recently translated into English. As with the 1st book in the series, The Bat, I think the reason they weren’t translated before is because neither #1 or #2 are as good as the later books written by Jo Nesbo. I started with The Snowman and was hooked! I had to wait for #1 and #2, and I hope now that I’m done with those two, the series will get better. That’s what the reviews seem to tell me. The Redbreast, #3, has been around for a while; I’ll move on to that one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Older Stories in the Series Good Too

The Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo is the only series I have taken the time to listen too. A friend got me started with number six when I didn't know it was a series. After listening to number one, I've been waiting for this second in the series to come out on audio before listening to others in the series. Nesbo's development of characters and his ability to keep me guessing up to the end makes for very satisfying listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 04-07-14

As always, amazing

The Harry Hole series never fails to deliver. Here's another in the detective sage: a series of surprising murders, a cascade of suspects, a world of depravity and sin, and our hero, Harry, stuck in the middle. This time Harry finds himself sent out to Bangkok to investigate a diplomat’s murder in a seedy motel room. The unfolding layers of insider drug rings, ruthless businessmen, and illegal pornography conspire to give Harry his most dangerous case yet.

As always, Nesbo delivers real human drama, strong characters, and an interesting plot. As I’ve always said, the Harry Hole books use genre clichés to deliver unfaltering character studies. This book is no exception, and the narrator’s pretty amazing too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not as good as his later work ...

Any additional comments?

If i understand correctly, this is only the second in the Harry Hole series. I've read all the others, and have been addicted to the characters and plots. I'm a big Baltic Noir fan and Nesbo doesn't disappoint. Except for the first two in the Harry Hole series. This one and the one before (set in Australia) just didn't work for me. I was disappointed big time.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Close to just being okay

Because of the originality and richness of characters this beats a "just okay" review. Will start on book 3 immediately because I really want to believe the Hole hype. =)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 11-23-15

Harry Hole, the drunk Norwegian policeman!

In his first Harry Hole novel, The Bat, he is in Australia. The Bat was a good novel but Hole's alcohol and family problems were a distraction. Cockroaches starts off at home in Norway and moves on to Thailand. It's a good story, but Hole's alcohol problems are distractions that take up too many pages. So I gave Nesbo and Harry Hole one more chance with Book 3, The Redbreast. Again I found a good story, but also found the time taken with Hole's alcohol and personal problems detracted from the novel.

I have since read printed copies of Book 5, Devil's Star, and Book 10, Police. Both were excellent detective novels as were The Bat, Cockroaches, and The Redbreast. But all suffered to varying degrees from grossly excessive time taken away from the cop story to Hole's problems.

Despite thee quality of the crime stories being excellent, I cannot recommend Nesbo's Harry Hole series.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Horrible

Would you try another book from Jo Nesbø and/or John Lee?

Yes

What do you think your next listen will be?

I don't know.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

None

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None

Any additional comments?

I have read other books by Jo Nesbo and I loved them. This book was awful! If I could get my money back I would.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful