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
- THE DEVIL'S STAR
- THE REDEEMER
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.