25 June 2009

Review: THE REDEEMER, Jo Nesbo

Published by Harvill Secker 2009, ISBN 9781846550409, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett, first published in Norwegian in 2005, 457 pages.

The shooting of a Salvation Army officer at point blank range as Christmas shoppers stand listening to a street concert in Oslo is almost unthinkable. Many saw the assailant, the gun in his hand, but predictably, afterwards, they were almost of no help. If there is an irony, it is that the victim should not have been there, having changed his shift with his brother.

At Police HQ Harry Hole is investigating another case, the death of a young heroin addict, found dead in a unit at the container terminal. Harry's boss Bjarne Moller is leaving. If it hadn't been for Moller's protective wing Harry would have been off the force years ago. Harry mistrusts his new boss, Gunnar Hagen, who threatens to make him toe the line.

You can almost feel Nesbo building this book, layer on layer, investigating how events that took place over a decade before, can have consequences in present time. You certainly forget that it is translated, so natural is the English.

We've already met Harry Hole, most recently in NEMESIS, and before that in THE REDBREAST and in THE DEVIL'S STAR. (see below for my mini-reviews). THE REDEEMER is a great read, a book whose ending may shock. Harry's personal life is also once again at the centre of this book.

My rating: 4.8

THE REDEEMER has been shortlisted for the 2009 CWA International Dagger. Check Euro Crime's CWA International Dagger polls

Check these other reviews of THE REDEEMER
Jo Nesbo's own site

The correct order in which to read the novels that have so far been translated into English:
THE REDBREAST, my rating 4.5
First published in Norwegian 2000. Translate into English 2006. Norwegian's history stretches its tentacles into the year 2000. This features Norwegian detective Harry Hole recently promoted to Inspector to hide the true story of how he he came to shoot and American security agent duringa visit to Oslo by the American President. A crime novel that is more a thriller than a mystery. A complex story. Harry is tracing the importation into Norway of a rare weapon, when reports come in that it has been fired. A veteran ex-soldier is found with his throat cut, and Harry keeps coming up with the same set of names.

THE DEVIL'S STAR, my rating 4.8
Translated from Swedish. Set in Oslo. Detective Harry Hole is an alcoholic who has been absent from work for the last 4 weeks.
He is highly valued by his boss who has covered up for him and marked his absence as annual leave. But now it is crunch time. He has been assigned to a case with an adversary whom he is convinced was responsible for the death of a colleague. Harry has no choice now - he must return to work or quit. The new case involves what appear to be serial killings where the murderer is leaving clues related to a five-pointed star - the devil's star.


Bernadette in Australia said...

I've not read any of Nesbo's book's Kerrie but I do have Nemesis here waiting. I must get onto it.

Kerrie said...

Bernadette, I've promised to lend THE REDEEMER to a work colleague, but you are welcome to it when I get it back. I think you will enjoy it.

Dorte H said...

A good review of a very fine crime story.

I have been far too busy to read much for months, but my summer holidays began today. Next week we are going to Scotland. I´ll try to find some good crime novels there.

Sandra said...

Glad to know this is now available. I have read the other three as they came out and really enjoyed them all. I must get a copy as soon as possible. Thank you for reviewing it.

Susan said...

So that's another four books added to my to-Get list! and soon! they sound really good, and I really enjoy translated mysteries.

Off topic, but wondering, have you read any Graham Hurley (English writer) yet? I've just discovered him, Joe Faraday is the detective, set in Portsmouth, and the first book was really good. I'll be reviewing it shortly - doing a post on him. Worth looking for if the books are over there now!

Yes, if you gave me 7 titles to look for from your posts, I thought I'd return the favour!! lol

Kerrie said...

I have read one or two Hurley novels Susan, and always have meant to read more. Thanks for the reminder

Kerrie said...

Sandra, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


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