What I’m in desperate need of is more fiction, so reading The Devil’s Star was the perfect antidote. Jo Nesbo is Michael Connelly and Ian Rankin, except Norwegian. Harry Hole, the flawed detective main character is engaging, funny, clever, alcoholic, avenger of wrongs, bad at relationships, all the things you want from a detective hunting down a serial killer. He is also trying to figure out if his fellow police officer and the lead detective on the case is a thief and killer in his own right. The usual “who can you trust at work” scenario, except these co-workers carry guns. The book is Harry’s struggle with himself, his bosses, his conscience, his life decisions and played out against the background of a killer on the loose during a steamy hot summer in Oslo.
Minor characters carry their weight, Beate Lonn is reminiscent of NCIS’s Abby. Oystein Eikeland, holdout from the sixties, taxi driver, shadowy figure and loyal to Harry. The plot is fast paced, and just when you think the end is near, the action really picks up. I first heard about this book from Detectives Beyond Borders, thank goodness someone is out there picking up on foreign mystery writers. And the interview with Nesbo revealed his liking for Oklahoman, Jim Thompson. Always looking for the Oklahoma connection, I was fascinated that Norwegian Nesbo admired Thompson.
Nesbo is what your summer reading needs. My big question is why a book written in 2003, translated in 2005 takes the United States publishing houses five years to get to American readers? Particularly one so good. Thank you HarperCollins for getting it, but can you get it a little faster. So I’ve borrowed the first book in the series on Interlibrary Loan, Redbreast and can’t wait to sink into it.
Listen to Nesbo for yourself,