Knife is the twelfth book in Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series. I have to say, I think it's one of the best.
Harry is drinking again - it's a reaction to his wife Rakel kicking him out. But he's s been given another chance with the Oslo Police and is now assigned to cold cases. He finds a few that can possibly be tied to a heinous criminal he put behind bars ten years ago. The man has just been released. But before Harry can get into that investigation, his world is rocked by the murder of someone close to him. (Faithful readers - you will be very surprised, as was I) And though he shouldn't be anywhere near the case, there is no stopping Harry Hole.
I love square peg, round hole lead characters and Harry is most definitely that. He's a dark, dangerous, conflicted and complicated protagonist I can't get enough of.
Nesbo's descriptions of place conjure up vivid pictures of the settings. As with most of Nesbo's books, social commentary on the state of politics, corruptions, crime and the social welfare of Norway is woven into the plot. Harry's philosophizing will have you stopping to think.
Nesbo's plotting is intricate and multi-layered with many threads. How those threads are joined changes many times over the course of Harry's investigation. I absolutely bought in to the offered possibilities, only to be found wrong. Harry's memory is fallible due to the drinking. He often can't remember whole chunks of time. But his deductive reasoning is second to none. I was stunned as the book headed towards the final whodunit. Didn't see that coming! I love being unable to predict where a tale is going to go. Nesbo has surprised me with almost every book. And the ending? Oh, it leaves the door open for another Harry book!
The book is translated from Norwegian by Neil Smith. It's been done very well, reading smoothly with no choppiness or stilted feeling. Read an excerpt of Knife.
Those new to Harry Hole may want to start with an earlier book to truly get to know Harry and how life has led him to this time and place.
(And anyone with a hard copy of Knife - have a look at the author photo on the back - Nesbo is exactly how I picture Harry)