13 December 2013

Review: POLICE, Jo Nesbo

  • published by Harvill Secker London 2013
  • ISBN 978-1-84655597-98
  • 518 pages
  • translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett
  • #8 in the Oslo sequence
  • from my local library
Synopsis (Random House Australia)

The police urgently need Harry Hole
A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated, but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical.

But this time, Harry can't help anyone

For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the centre of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry can't protect anyone.

Least of all himself.

My Take

A Jo Nesbo novel is never a light read, and at 518 pages POLICE bears this out. It has taken me over a week to read, partly because I didn't seem to be able to digest more than about 50 pages at a time.

This is not a novel you can read as a stand-alone either. There are references to Harry's earlier cases, and indeed remembering a little about some of them seems crucial to making sense of POLICE. There are characters such as the Chief of Police Mikael Bellmann and Harry Hole's lover Rakel who provide a thread of continuity from one novel to another.

Harry Hole's clear up rate is legendary in the Oslo Police and so we know that if he can't work out who the Cop Killer is, no one can. But Harry is no longer officially part of the police force, which is a conundrum. And for about a third of the novel we are wondering exactly where Harry is.

I came away from POLICE wondering if every thread had been satisfactorily tied off. Certainly corruption is not confined to the criminals and the official version of events is not always what actually happened. Underneath is Harry Hole's version of justice.

My rating: 4.7

Reviews to check
Karen @ EuroCrime
Marilyn Stasio @ New York Times

Did you see this news? (from Jo Nesbo's site)

We are delighted to announce two new novels from Jo Nesbø writing under the pen name Tom Johansen. The first book, Blood on Snow, will be published in autumn 2014 with the second, Blood On Snow 2 (working title), to follow in spring 2015. Further information about both books and Tom Johansen will be revealed in early 2014.

It seems also that, though translated as #8 in "the Oslo sequence" POLICE is actually #10 in the series.

I also saw this among the site's news items.

30 September 2013

Jo has four titles on the bestseller lists in Norway this week. Doctor Proctor and the Great Gold Robbery (Doctor Proctor #4, published in 2012) is No. 1 and Police is No. 8 on the official list for fiction.
Phantom (Harry Hole #9, published in 2011) is No. 11 and Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder (Doctor Proctor #1, published in 2007) is No. 14 on the official paperback list .

For me it reinforces how little I actually know about Jo Nesbo although I have read all of the following
4.7, THE BAT


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review. It sounds as though there's little ambiguity in this story - Interesting. Good to hear you enjoyed the story.

Joanne P (Booklover Book Reviews) said...

I decided to read these in order, so next up for me is Cockroaches (this month I hope). Good to hear investing time in the earlier titles in the series will pay dividends.

Rebecca Bradley said...

As I've only read one Nesbo novel, I'd better not move onto Police next then.

Great review. Thank you.


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