Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo

I read my first Jo Nesbo book a couple of years ago (The Redeemer) and absolutely loved his recurring character - Detective Harry Hole. Nesbo is a an award winning Norwegian writer whose books are making a splash in North America as well.

The Devil's Star opens with a deliciously drawn scene that starts the book in a most unexpected way.  With no one else to call on, Inspector Moller sends Harry Hole to the scene - it looks like a minor incident. It turns out to be anything but....

Seemingly random victims are turning up in various parts of Oslo, with phalanges missing and star shaped diamonds left with the bodies at every scene. Harry is still on the case, but must answer to Tom Waaler - a cop Harry suspects of being very dirty, but he can't prove it.

Nesbo has created an incredibly intricate and very clever plot, one with twists and turns I didn't see coming at all. Just when I thought the story was going right, it quickly veered left. There are many players and each has a story to tell - both cops and suspects. Nesbo fleshes each of these out with lots of detail that makes for an incredibly absorbing and fulfilling  read. The action is non stop and the story is told at breakneck pace. Short chapters from the killer add to the tension.

But it is Harry that makes this series so enjoyable. Harry is the walking wounded - his alcoholism has cost him the woman and child he loved. Moller has covered for him for many years, but can't any longer. The one thing that has driven him all these years has been his work. He is a brilliant detective, making connections that others miss. Is his career to end? What then?
"The clock above the door showed 9:15. The day had hardly begun and Harry already felt drained of energy, like an old, dying lion who hung back from the pack when once he could have challenged the leader. Not that he had ever nurtured ambitions of leading the pack, but things had taken a nosedive anyway. All he could do was lay low and hope that someone would throw him a bone."

Just a fantastic series. If you enjoy Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, you would love Harry Hole. For all those new fans of Scandanavian writers, you'll want to read Nesbo.

Check out what others on the TLC Book Tour thought.


trish said...

I'm glad you mentioned Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series! I'm reading my first Connelly now and totally loving it, though it isn't in the Bosch series. The Devil's Star sounds really great -- glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for being on the tour!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

The Devil's Star is my first Scandinavian book (yes, I know, I'm the only one who hasn't read Stieg Larsson), and I'm not a big crime fiction fan, but I liked this one.

I agree that Harry Hole is a fascinating character, and the twists and turns kept me guessing as well. I'm definitely going to read more Harry Hole books.

bermudaonion said...

I really want to try one of Nesbo's books - they sound right up my alley!

Dorte H said...

Yes, this is a fantastic book in a fantastic series. Enough said :D

Pam (@iwritienbooks) said...

Wow, this looks incredible. Of course, though I am a very serious lover of literature, that picture Nesbo doesn't deter my want for the book. ;O)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed The Devil's Star as well (

Everyone keep comparing him to Larsson, to be honest I didn't see any resemblance (except geographical).