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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Out of order...

Harry Hole is great regardless of the order you read him in!! So glad I went back to the beginning!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • liz
  • Kansas
  • 03-04-15

I love Nordic noir, but this book was a mess!

Would you try another book from Jo Nesbø and/or Robin Sachs?

No, after reading this, I am going to steer away from Jo Nesbo, the plot was wildly complicated and I love intellectual, cerebral reads, but this one was just chaotic and the deus ex machina left me cold. In addition, many of the characters name were very similar and this contributed to my frustration. I ended up looking the book up on Wikipedia for some clarity, but even that didn't really help. I was very, very disappointed and will ask Audible for a refund. I wasted 17 hours on this baby because I hate to give up a book, and I kept thinking that it would improve. But then, I also believed in weapons of mass destruction, so maybe the fault lies within!

What do you think your next listen will be?

No doubt something on the mystery lines again, but I will read the reviews more carefully this time. Many reviewers shared my nonplussed reaction.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robin Sachs’s performances?

The narrator was fine, the problem was the content of the storyline.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Redbreast?

Having 2 characters with multiple personality disorder (and I am a psychologist so I am familiar with the disorder) was over the top. The book was also weighted down with so many subplots and characters who never re-appeared or plotlessness that vanished.

Any additional comments?

Yikes, run don't walk!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 12-22-14

Reaching His Stride

Yes! With this #3 book in the Harry Hole series, Jo Nesbo has reached his stride and has written a tense and exciting thriller/crime novel. I particularly liked this book because the reader gets to see how Harry Hole meets Raquel (the woman he is so in love with in later books) and find out Raquel's "interesting" background. Having started with some of the later Harry Hole books, I was disappointed when I went back to the beginning with the #1 and #2 books (The Bat and The Cockroaches), but having enjoyed this book so much, I'm now ready to continue on to #4, Nemesis.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just NOT a great story line

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No I would not. it was too lengthy and kept jumping from one time period to another in short spurts ... I did not like that at all. It makes it really hard to listen and to the story line.. dragging. on.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Nesbø again?

Oh yes. LOVE the Snowman.

What about Robin Sachs’s performance did you like?

All of it. such a wonderful energy to his voice.

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

Nope.... its too long and dragging as it is ..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I couldn't get into this book at all.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I tried twice to get into this book and couldn't so never finished it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Nesbo again?

I have listened to all his books. Trying to get into the new Son but not like it either

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Redbreast?

Didn't like from the beginning

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julia
  • Marlton, NJ, United States
  • 09-03-12

Classic Nesbo

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

Intense, Brilliant, Nesbo

Which character – as performed by Robin Sachs – was your favorite?

Harry Hole

Any additional comments?

Take your time. The plot twist and turns. There are flash backs which sometimes makes it difficult to follow the story line. I even went as far as to use a character chart to better understand the story line.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fay
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 04-22-12

Norwegian Nazis and switched identities

This is my first Jo Nesbo. Of course now I have to read more to find out how the subplot plays out. And yes, there is one. But mostly I enjoyed this one because it gave me a glimpse into a sidebar story of WWII that I had never paid any attention to. The fact that Norway surrendered to Germany and Norwegians ended up fighting in the German army in Russia. Made sense as Russia had always been a more obvious enemy for Norway, but the whole Nazi think complicated it of course. Anyway, definitely an entertaining story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandee
  • Marble Falls, TX, United States
  • 01-29-12

Exciting and gripping Thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes- To anyone who likes murder mysteries and espionage, this is the best of both worlds.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Of course Harry Hole. He is just such a unpredictable predictable character. Gentle but raw; loving but also full of angst. He is great!

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

He has all of the nuances down to a science. Awesome narrator! I can't imagine anyone else doing quite the performance he does for these Nesbo stories.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A story of extreme love and harbored hatred

Any additional comments?

Yes, the way the book ended I know there has to be a story to follow. Are any of the books he has written a sequel to The Red Breast? I am blind so it is difficult for me to read through the summaries of some of his other books.I would just like to know as I am hooked and would like to follow the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Celia
  • Topanga, CA, United States
  • 01-12-12

Very Tedious

I just couldn't get through this book. After a few hours I have to give it up. I bought it because of the great reviews and am really disappointed. I really like thrillers but this seems to be a slow moving WW2 story with confusing Norwegian characters mired in philosophical debates about Fascism and the Nazis. Did I read the reviews wrong?? In any case if you buy it be prepared to listen to a ponderous war story, NOT a current day thriller. There are flashes of a current thriller but in my reading so far there are only brief flashes.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 06-09-12

2 ½ stars. Many details were not shown.

I was curious to see how things would end, but it was frustrating. I liked the last fourth of the book. As things became clear, I was surprised. The overall plotting was excellent. But I have complaints.

1. As I read, I kept thinking of “The Day of The Jackal” by Frederick Forsyth. In both stories we watch an assassin plan and make arrangements to kill someone. We also watch cops try to learn who the assassin is and stop him.

In Jackal, I was fascinated and admired many smart things done by the assassin and other bad guys. In one case I was rooting for one of the bad guys who wanted to see his daughter. THEN I was fascinated and admired the many smart things done by the good guys. I was “wowed” by both sides. I smiled frequently and was surprised frequently by neat things and smart things being done. I sympathized with the bad guys who were idealists - fighting for what they believed in. But I did want the good guys to win.

In Redbreast the first 3/4 of the book was frustrating and depressing. The emphasis was powerful bad guys doing horrible things, and getting away with it. The good guys were helpless and manipulated. One good cop is murdered right after she learned something and then did stupid things. Harry also does a couple of stupid things, not questioning what he should. I want to root for a good guy while I follow his progress. Rooting for Harry is like rooting for the turtle in the race with the hare. He’s slow and doing nothing special or interesting. Harry is also like a ball bouncing around on the water, accidentally learning things once in a while.

2. A major bad guy was not caught. At the end, Harry asks his boss for time to look into that. His boss says you have two months. Then the book is over. I was angry. It was unfinished. If catching this bad guy is the sequel, then I suppose it’s ok, but I can’t help how I felt when this book finished - negative. I’d prefer catching both bad guys now and do a sequel about something else.

3. I don’t like jumping around. There were two main stories. One from 1944 and one current day. The first third of the book jumps back and forth between the two stories - way too much. It would have been so much better if the author told the early story in a linear time line up until the guy and girl separate. Then the author could pick up the rest of that story later as he did. No spoilers would have happened. And I would have enjoyed the early story instead of being frustrated with interruptions.

4. Ending scenes in the middle of an action or conversation. Some experts tell authors to do this - to keep the reader interested. I consider it artificial manipulation to create “false suspense.” I don’t like it. I prefer classic story telling with a natural end for each scene.

5. I have no idea why the author doesn’t show the kills happening. We are in a scene watching the killer talk to his victim or other actions leading up to the kill. Then the scene stops. The next sentence is the next day with police at the crime scene. There are several kills like this.

6. I’m not sure how I feel about the tell-all at the end; the killer gives one long explanation about his motives and actions. It was ok in this case, but I wondered about it. Some authors use tell-alls because they are quick and easy. I think the best writing uncovers things in interesting ways during the book rather than a tell-all at the end.

CAUTION SPOILER:
7. Someone kills Brandhaug. I don’t know how the killer knew the despicable things Brandhaug did. The killer saw some letters, but those letters would not have told the whole story. I was disappointed. I wanted to see how the killer learned what Brandhaug did and watch the killer’s emotional reactions.
END SPOILER.

NARRATOR:
The narrator Robin Sachs was fine.

Genre: crime mystery thriller.
Ending: mysteries uncovered, one bad guy caught, another bad guy not caught.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful