The Devil’s Star
By Jo Nesbo
The Short of It:
A gripping police procedural with one of the best detective personalities I’ve encountered in years.
The Rest of It:
The Devil’s Star is a perfect example of why I adore Scandinavian crime fiction.
Detective Harry Hole is what’d you call, a functioning alcoholic. He’s lost his girlfriend and spends his waking hours stumbling through his cases, drinking in bars and smoking cigarettes like they’re going out of style. He’s incredibly flawed, but good at what he does so his superiors often look to him for input, even though physically he is falling apart. Time is running out for old Harry though because his boss just can’t cover for him anymore and he’s just stepped into a very high-profile case involving a serial killer with a penchant for pentagrams and red diamonds in the shape of a star.
This is my first experience with Jo Nesbo and I must say, I have fallen in love. From the moment I opened this book, I was completely pulled into the story and could not put it down. The writing is crisp and the tension between the characters is so flawlessly executed, that you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat, just waiting for one of them to pick-up on it themselves. The dialogue is smartly written and has that sophisticated, snappy quality that I find in Scandinavian novels. I won’t compare Nesbo’s writing to Larsson, as they each have their own, distinct style, but their books both possess that shrewdness that I’ve come to love.
You don’t have to be a lover of crime fiction to enjoy The Devil’s Star so if you aren’t, I encourage you to try it anyway. It has a great story, well-developed characters and writing that will force you to read it in one sitting. Apparently, Nesbo has written other books featuring Detective Harry Hole. One of which (The Snowman) makes its US debut in May 2011. I can’t wait!
Source: Sent to me by the publisher.