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.
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