The fifth in the Harry Hole series, and the third translated into English, this thick-but-quick Norwegian thriller covers all your basics of a good sexeh thriller; ancient symbols of devil worship, Nazism and fingers up the bum.
Concluding the Oslo Trilogy, beginning with The Redbreast and Nemisis that I read last winter, Jo Nesbo creates a violent disturbing world in a capitol city that sometimes feels as small as my hometown. With seemingly the tiniest police force in the world all on their summer break at the same time, Harry Hole is called back from his forced vacation to work a murder case alongside his nemesis Tom Waaler, who, take it from me, is EVIL.
The first of the series, The Redbreast, had me sitting up in bed until about three in the morning screaming ‘HE’S A NAZI!!!!’ at a book that has no ears. Although I didn’t enjoy Nemesis half as much, mostly because I was spending the entire time waiting for Hole to cotton on to the dramatic irony, The Devil’s Star picks up the pace again and was definitely my favourite of the three.
Harry Hole is an alcoholic wise-ass who should have been sacked a long time ago. In The Devil’s Star, his life has fallen apart around him. Obsessed with finding the murderer of his colleague, his health is shot to pieces, his girlfriend has given him the final ultimatum; stop with the drinking or loose me forever. He can’t sleep and he hasn’t eaten in days. When he rolls up to the crime scene, the other offices don’t want to leave him alone with the body. It is only when he discovers a small red diamond in the shape of a fine pointed star that the case, and Harry, starts to get a bit more interesting.
There are many, many red herrings, one so good I was utterly convinced I’d out-witted Nesbo a third of the way it. I LOVE psychological murder mysteries and quite a lot of this book reminded me of Waking the Dead and the DILFesque Detetective Boyd, whom I mourn and miss dearly. Harry Hole is a proper hottie, if a smelly, drunken hottie, and this book really came across as a real and identifiable character as opposed to a Smith and Weston toting Crime Stopper. There are also really sensual moments that Harry experiences alone, which made me really think about the male psyche and what have you. Probably all very sexistly but hey ho, it’s CRIME.
Anyway, I’m now reading The Redeemer, the next in the Harry Hole series. Jo Nesbo is appearing at the Harrogate Crime Festival in July and I am very very tempted to stave off the HIVES I come out in every time I visit the town to try and lick him.
Happy Reading Paaskekrim!