Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo

Protagonist: Harry Hole
Setting: Oslo
Rating: 4.9

Following the events in The Redbreast and Nemesis (and I highly recommend you read at least The Redbreast first), police detective Harry Hole has slipped into alcoholism. He hardly appears at work and is about to be dismissed when the department is faced with a big case -- a serial killer who is leaving pentagrams and red diamonds at each scene.

Amid his alcoholic haze, Hole has also been trying to prove that colleague Tom Waaler is corrupt. Not surprisingly, no one will listen to him. The only reason they haven’t fired Hole yet is because he’s so good at solving complicated crimes. And this is one complicated crime – what is the killer trying to tell police with the clues he leaves behind? They don’t seem to be sex crimes and there’s no link between the victims, so what is the motive?

The more Hole investigates, the more suspects there seem to be. In the end, the pieces fall together rather well, although Nesbo has weaved a complicated plot. It’s a pleasure to read crime fiction like this – with well-developed characters, a not-always-likable but intriguing detective, and a plot filled with twists and turns. In fact, if I were to recommend a Scandinavian author, it wouldn't be the flavor of the month (The Girl Who books), but Jo Nesbo.

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