Review: Police


By Jo Nesbø
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307960498, October 2015, 448pp.)

The Short of It:

When Nesbø comes out with a book, you have to read it because it’s guaranteed to be a crazy, wild ride and this was no exception.

The Rest of It:

The Harry Hole series has been hugely popular here in the U.S. Even with the books being published out-of-order, no one seemed to care because each book stood on its own merit. But with Police, I DO feel as if you have read the other books in the series to feel something for these characters and to fully understand the impact of what is going on in the story.

In this installment, detectives with unsolved cases in their past find themselves returning to the crime scene, only to be murdered. The catch is that the scene of the crime is recreated so they are forced to experience what the victim felt during their last moments of life. As the detectives that we’ve come to love so well are murdered one by one, the reader can’t help but ask…”Where the heck is Harry?”

Without giving anything away, the events that took place in the previous novel directly affect Harry’s availability in this book so it takes a long, long time for Harry to make his appearance but rest assured, he does. Eventually. But what I must tell you is that although this is absolutely the page turner you expect it to be, it’s also a terribly frustrating read given all of the red herrings that are tossed in.

Oh, and there are many.

Nesbø takes your hand and leads you down the wrong path not once, not twice but at least a dozen times. You cannot predict what will happen, and that’s the good part, but the intentional mis-steps got a little old after awhile and made me think he was becoming more…ahem…American in his story telling.

The tone is different in this one. It’s more about the events as opposed to the characters and in the past, I enjoyed the story centering around Harry and all of his numerous faults. The whole anti-hero thing was appealing to me. Here, Harry has it more together and it’s a little jarring. That’s not to say that I prefer him to be an alcoholic mess but in the other books his stability was always in question which added to the tension. Here, not so much.

Overall, it’s a solid read. Lots of twists and turns but I really got tired of being jerked one way only to find out that I was completely wrong in my thinking. I felt as if Nesbø was playing with me and it made me a tiny bit angry. I do believe he is having fun with us! Maybe even chuckling at us from behind closed doors. But, I forgive him.

If you have yet to read these books, you are lucky because I think nearly all of them are available now which means that you can read them as they were meant to be read, in order. The series as a whole is very good and makes for some good afternoon reading.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Review: Police”

  1. I have this to read in my 746 and am really looking forward to it. Saw him last year give a talk to a packed out Ulster Hall in Belfast, you would have thought he was a rock star rather than an author!

  2. As you know, I loved loved loved all the red herrings and twists and turns. I love to be mentally challenged (not in the double entendre sense) and this book really did that for me!

    1. What did you make of all the stuff going on (or not going on) between Harry and that student? It was a bit weird.


  3. I think I would really like this one! I have a couple of her earlier books on my TBR shelf still to read. Hopefully I can get to her sooner than later. It’s just print books tend to take a backseat for me right now over e-books.

    1. Nesbo writes some good stuff but some of his books are a little twisted and dark. Not for readers who happen to be squeamish but with his more recent books, he seems to have dropped the gore. At least, not describe it so much.


  4. It’s good that these books are more readily available now – so many of my blogging friends love them. I finally found a copy of The Redbreast at the library book sale, so I hope to meet Harry soon!

  5. As you know, I was infuriated by the end of this one. It is one thing to challenge me, and keep me guessing, and it is another thing to intentionally mess with me. His books are very strong crime thrillers…he needs to believe in himself. There is no need for all that cat and mouse business, which just cheapens his product. If he would have pulled this stuff early in the series, I probably wouldn’t have kept reading! Good review…you were right on with all of your observations.

    1. The first two yanks I was like.. why are you doing this? And then when he kept doing it, I was expecting it so then that sort of took the suspense out of it. Do you think his writing is changing or do you think that is what the US population wants to read? I feel as if he is catering to his American readers now.. the ones that enjoy formulaic type crime thrillers.


  6. I’m going to start this series soon. I’m just waiting for Cockroaches to come out in February. I’d really like to read them all in publishing order.

  7. Bought the hubby a Nesbo book for Christmas and he has raced through it. Gave him one that wasn’t Harry Hole but now that I know he likes them I’ll get him started on the series…and of course, I’ll finally be reading them, too!

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