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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

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  • Overall
  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 06-07-11

Not as good as "Snowman"

I read Snowman first. Perhaps a mistake. The Redbreast was not quite as good (I thought Snowman was perfect.) However, without the comparison, this is an excellent mystery for those who like the dark and human detectives of the Scandinavian genre.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Rather grisly war story

The subject matter really isn’t a type I enjoy but gave it a try
I found it difficult to keep the characters straight -the language translation made it a challenge for me, as the names are foreign for the most part. It was also difficult to keep track of who was fighting with/for who
The narrator made it difficult to tell who was speaking as well
All in all, not very satisfying

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A unique but effective undertaking

A unique story if compared with others in the Hole series. Nesbo is a brilliant storyteller and I have yet to find a flaw in his craft. He knows his characters. He breathes such life into all of them and I have enjoyed getting to know Nesbo's Oslo.

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This may be my favorite

I really love the series but I think this one is my favorite of all. I still have 3 more to go. What a truly incredible series. Jo Nesbo is a genius. Love the narration.

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  • Darwyn
  • Toluca Lake, CA, United States
  • 02-13-17

Second listen twice as good!

I love having an online library.
Every so often, I rifle through the titles and latch on to one for a relisten. This was the case with The Redbreast, which was even better than my memory of it. Whether a Nesbo, Nordic Noir or detective fare lover, there should be no hesitation about choosing this one. Intricately woven plot that ultimately plays out to a believable conclusion. The story, though written at the end of the '90s into 2000, could have been penned today, the themes are so current. There is an unsolved element which is probably addressed in the next title of the Harry Hole series. Robin Sachs is an excellent interpreter of Nesbo's words; descriptive narrative and characterizations. My next choice will be another Nesbo title.

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  • CrC
  • Phoenix
  • 08-22-16

Norwegian neo Nazis run amok.

relationship explored between Germany and Norway in 1942 with effects to present day crimes. interesting.

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Huuummmm

New author for me so I'm not sure if I really likeed the book. Since I started in the middle of the series, perhaps that's part of the challenge, or because with the unfamiliar names it was difficult to keep the characters separate, except Harry and Rachel. I had to rewind many times to try to understand the story.

I purchased, based on readers comments, the next book to see if I can get a better understanding of the series. The narator was very good, assuming he pronounced the Norwegian names correctly, which I'm clueless about.

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Narrator is superb

Read this years ago. Loved it. Jo Nesbo is the best. Robin Sachs does the narration to perfection.

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Nesbo's best Harry Hole mystery!

Yes, the author's intricate weaving of two storylines, occurring in different decades and countries, requires an attentive and patient listener, but it's worth it! I've read/listened to all of Nesbo's Harry Hole novels, and in my opinion, Redbreast was the most intriguing and satisfying of them all.

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Found it a bit confusing at times

Not a book to put down and leave for a couple of weeks as its hard to follow the constant date changing