Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Phantom - Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole returns in Jo Nesbo's latest North American release - Phantom. If this is a new to you series, I wouldn't recommend starting with Phantom. To truly appreciate Harry, you need to hop on at the beginning of the series - and get ready for a heck of a ride. If you've been following this series, then it's one you definitely don't want to miss.

Harry Hole is one of the most tortured, conflicted, complicated protagonists in crime fiction. He's been away from Norway for the last three years in an attempt to clean himself up and step away from his relationship with Rakel. But what brings him back is murder, of course. Rakel's son Oleg has been charged with the murder of Gusto, a known drugs pusher. The evidence is damning, but Harry knows that the gentle little boy he watched grow could not be guilty of such a crime. Harry approaches his old department, but they have no interest in either reopening the case or having Harry back on board. So, Harry being Harry, he decides to investigate on his own. His inquiries catch the eye of the drug trade, in particular the mysterious Dubai, who runs an insidious new product called Violin. Corrupt individuals on the police force and in the political theatre aren't happy with Harry's investigation either. Harry is creating problems and needs to be eliminated. It's just a matter of who gets him first.......

" You can't stop this Harry. It's all happened. It has to run its course. If you get in the way, more will die....It's too big, Harry. It'll swallow you up, swallow everyone up."

Phantom is a stark, bleak tale.  Drugs and the resulting carnage wreaked on individuals and society figures prominently. Nesbo's prose conjure up a bleak, barren wasteland where need trumps everything.

We learn the story behind Gusto's death and Oleg's involvement in interspersed chapters, as Gusto lays dying. The more Harry learns, the more he refuses to be stopped, seemingly on a mission to save both Oleg and himself.

"A curse lay over it. Over him. But it wouldn't have made any difference. He had been cursed long before the knife appeared. And the curse was worse than any knife. It said that his love was a plague he carried around with him...all those who had allowed themselves to be loved by Harry had been made to pay."

Nesbo explores relationships in Phantom, giving us another glimpse into this tormented protagonist. Nesbo has crafted a complex plot that kept me guessing right up to the end - the explosive, didn't see it coming, OMG ending....

Read an excerpt of Phantom. You can find Jo Nesbo on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

I have meant to start this series for such a long time. I really need to begin this year.

bermudaonion said...

I've got to make time to start this series.

Lena said...

It sounds like something I could really enjoy. I really am in search of new books to read.

Unknown said...

I haven't started reading Nesbo's books yet but I have a few of them and am very intrigued by Harry Hole and look forward to getting to know him.

Phantom sounds extremely interesting and a book I could definitely get absorbed by this story. The fact that Harry left Norway to get himself cleaned up and get away from Rakelmakes me thing tht Nesbo writes a character study of sorts in these books as well as a murder mystery. Right up my alley!

Thank you for your fantastic review! Nesbo's Harry Hole books are ones I totally want to begin reading asap!