Regular price: $31.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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
  • 5 Stars
    736
  • 4 Stars
    648
  • 3 Stars
    268
  • 2 Stars
    76
  • 1 Stars
    40

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    832
  • 4 Stars
    451
  • 3 Stars
    127
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    20

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    631
  • 4 Stars
    516
  • 3 Stars
    219
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    30
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I'm hooked!

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

The first book I've read in the Harry Hole series and now I'm hooked! Intelligent and interesting, it's a thriller with thought.

Have you listened to any of Robin Sachs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Robin Sachs is by far the best narrator of audible books! I'm currently listening to each of the Nesbo books he narrates.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lawrence
  • Greensboro, NC, United States
  • 03-16-14

Greatest Norwegian Mystery Novel

This novel has been called the greatest Norwegian mystery novel ever written. I certainly thought it was marvelous. The parallel story that takes place during WWII is expertly interwoven with the main story line. The opening events during the visit of President Clinton provide a nice contrast with the closing. Mr. Sachs was a wonderful actor, a fabulous narrator, and truly the voice of Harry Hole. I will miss him.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Change of Pace!

Just finished my first Nesbo book. Great performance and story. A different perspective of WWII with an unpredictable ending to the story. I'm ready now for another Nesbo book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Introduction to Author

This is my fist Jo Nesbo book. It was an excellent introduction! The story hooked me almost immediately. The story line was absorbing but sometimes difficult to follow. The narrator was excellent; I always knew when he changed characters. The only issue I had was trying to keep track of all the characters in the parallel story line; which may not of been an issue had I read the book instead of listening. Considering the narration, I'm glad I listened to this book. For my next Jo book, I may decide to read it so that I may better understand the characters and their relationship to the story, quicker. Since I mostly listen to books while I'm driving, it isn't possible to write down notes.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Dan
  • Iowa City, IA, United States
  • 07-25-13

My favorite Hole novel yet

The complexity of historical fact, multiple characters and hidden identities really made this a great read. Nesbo is Mankell with a brutal edge.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Diana
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 06-02-13

better narrator

Read the bat then this one then Nemesis. The first two flowed better and didn't drag on.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Steven
  • ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States
  • 04-16-13

Fan of the story, but not of Harry!

After "The Bat," I thought I was unsure about this series. Now, I think I understand what it is. I completely enjoyed "Redbreast," but I'm still not won-over. Why? I think it's that I don't like Harry, himself. For new potential readers/listeners, Harry reminds me of Jesse Stone. I have to confess that I only know Jesse from the movies. Strangely, I liked that series of movies in a way that I can't really like Harry. Maybe it's the Tom Selleck effect, since they are similar characters. Some additional credit may go to the translator. I'm amazed at how well humorous elements translate. I would normally expect humor to be a highly cultural phenomena, but you would never know that the novel wasn't originally written in English.

I'm pretty sure I will get the next available installment, but I hope that Harry will become a less damaged character over time. I can only do so much of the damaged, whining, unreliable, drunk before I expect to see some improvement in character. I want characters that I can look up to, eventually. I tell you this so that you can judge for yourself. If you find a permanently damaged personality to be more "realistic," then Harry might be your guy.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Pay Attention, Listen Hard for Names, Fine Finish

This is not a book for the faint of heart. Nesbo's Harry Hole is Everyman, a flawed, guilt-ridden alcoholic who holds life precious, but sees it taken away from him in tragic circumstance. He's brilliant, though not quick. Nesbo's plot plods. Layer after layer of detail, that seems to make no sense until it all culminates in climax.

This is a book that I need to read/listen to a second time, and it is good enough to hold me through again. Robin Sachs has a voice like Isle of Islay whisky - dark, smokey and smooth as glass. My only difficulty with this book came with the unfamiliar Norwegian names. If I was reading it in print, I'm sure that difficulty would have been lessened, but I would have missed the whisky voice. I will see if it is available on WhisperSync. That would be an excellent coupling.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not quite his best, but excellent nonetheless

I found the Snowman and The Leopard to be more riveting, perhaps because the switching back and forth between the present day and 1940's World War 2 in this book caused some minor lapses in momentum. Nonetheless, learning about Norway's role in the war and the disillusion it caused some of it's soldiers was interesting. Robin Sachs as always was fantastic as the narrator. It is hard not to identify Harry Hole with Robin's voice. Jo Nesbo has become one of my favorite authors, and I hope new encounters with Harry Hole are in the offing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Vivid mystery that provides a cultural and history

Would you listen to The Redbreast again? Why?

Yes... to pick up some of the historical and cultural nuances I may have missed. Plus, the readers voice is so rich, it is fun simply to listen to him.

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

Yes... it just did!

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to mention

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

No, but I was generally on edge anticipating which shoe would be the next to drop.

Any additional comments?

All Nesbo books, particularly those feature Harry Holle, are wonderful.