Sonny boy

25 03 2017

The Son by Jo Nesbo



Sonny Lofthus, in his early thirties, has been in prison for the last dozen years: serving time for crimes he didn’t commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and the unexpected stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his uncanny abilities to soothe and absolve. His addiction started when his father committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt cop, and now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed, and all of them under the thumb of Oslo’s crime overlord, the Twin. When Sonny learns some long-hidden truths about his father he makes a brilliant escape, and begins hunting down the people responsible for the hideous crimes he’s paid for. But he’s also being hunted, by the Twin, the cops, and the only person who knows the ultimate truth that Sonny is seeking. The question is, what will he do when they’ve cornered him?

Sinister, dark and with lots of complicated twists and turns it’s a classic Jo Nesbo. Drugs, criminals and many dodgy characters there is the full range of Scandi noir stuff in here. If you like this kind of thing, and I really do, then it’s well worth it.




22 03 2014

The Bat by Jo Nesbo


Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl on a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can. When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will only talk to Harry.

It’s entertaining enough but difficult to escape the idea of the traditional model of detectives being sent to Australia at the end of their careers rather than at the beginning. Can’t really complain though and a decent start to what is a pretty good series of books featuring Harry Hole who becomes a rather compelling character.
2 star

Head hunting

26 05 2012

Headhunters by Jo Nesbo

Roger Brown has it all. He’s the country’s most successful headhunter. He has a beautiful wife and a magnificent house. And to maintain this lifestyle, he’s also a highly accomplished art thief. At a gallery opening, his wife introduces him to Clas Greve. Not only is Greve the perfect candidate for a position with one of Roger’s high-profile clients, he is also in possession of ‘The Calydonian Boar Hunt’ by Rubens, one of the most sought-after paintings in the world.Roger sees his chance to be rich beyond his wildest dreams and starts planning his boldest heist yet. But soon, he runs into trouble – and this time money is the least of his worries…

I have yet to see the movie (which has had some excellent reviews) but have to say the book is pretty good. It’s not quite in the league of Nesbo’s Harry Hole series but a pacy and entertaining yarn nevertheless with some surprising twists and turns.

Leopard: spots unchanged

16 02 2012

The Leopard by Joe Nesbo



In the depths of winter, a killer stalks the city streets.

His victims are two young women, both found with twenty-four inexplicable puncture wounds, both drowned in their own blood. The crime scenes offer no clues, the media is reaching fever pitch, and the police are running out of options. There is only one man who can help them, and he doesn’t want to be found.

Deeply traumatised by an investigation that threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong’s opium dens. But with his father seriously ill in hospital, Harry reluctantly agrees to return to Oslo. He has no intention of working on the case, but his instinct takes over when an MP is found brutally murdered in a city park.

The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it’s not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in an isolated mountain hostel. And someone is picking off the guests one by one.

It’s a pretty good thriller though and another entertaining outing for the ever morose Harry Hole. One of the most interesting of Nesbo’s books this and really does keep motoring along with Hole as a really compelling and complicated central character.

Redeeming features

14 07 2011

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

One freezing night in Oslo Christmas shoppers gather to listen to a Salvation Army street concert. An explosion cuts through the music, and a man in uniform falls to the ground, shot in the head at point-blank range.Harry Hole and his team have little to work with: no immediate suspect, no weapon and no motive. But when the assassin discovers he has shot the wrong man, Harry Hole’s troubles have only just begun. After some exceptionally shrewd detective work, the team begins to close in on a suspected hit man, monitoring his credit card, false passport and the line to his employer. With no money, only six bullets and no place to stay in the bitter cold, the hit man becomes increasingly desperate. He will stop at nothing to eliminate his target.

Another really good read from Nesbo. Good plotting, some very good twists and turns and entertaining throughout. Harry Hole remains a quite compelling character too.

More dark Norwegian nights

17 03 2011

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

Grainy CCTV footage shows a man walking into a bank and putting a gun to a cashier’s head. He tells her to count to twenty-five. When he doesn’t get his money in time, she is executed. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case.While Harry’s girlfriend is away in Russia, an old flame gets in touch. He goes to dinner at her house and wakes up at home with no memory of the past twelve hours. The same morning the girl is found shot dead in her bed. Then Harry begins to receive threatening e-mails. Is someone trying to frame him for this unexplained death? Meanwhile the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery.Gripping and surprising, Nemesis is a thriller by one of the biggest stars of Scandinavian crime fiction.

Intricate plotting. Very impressive. I think these books are getting better and Hole is becoming a really interesting character.

Robin a bobbin

17 02 2011

Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

According to Vogue: “Nobody can delve into the dark, twisted mind of a murderer better than a Scandinavian thriller writer”. Nothing like a sweeping generalisation to start things off. However, this is a really good crime thriller and well worth the puff. The blurb summarises it thus:

Harry Hole, drunkard, loner and brilliant detective is reassigned to surveillance after a high profile mistake. He’s bored by his new job until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest because of its possible links to Neo Nazi activity. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. Next Harry’s former partner is murdered. Why had she been trying to reach Harry on the night her head was smashed in? The investigation leads Harry to suspect that the crimes have their roots in the battlefields of Eastern Front during WWII. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion. The Redbreast. He’s your judge, jury and executioner…And he must be stopped.

All good stuff. Looking forward to further cheery storylines in this series. Without wishing to spoil the plot too much I think it only fair to point out that the Redbreast of the title is not, in this case, an actual bird. Nor is he called Robin. In fact he displays very little interest in ornithology whatsoever what with all of that judging and executing.

[Read on iPad]

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