Monday, November 23, 2009

#45: Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

Oslo's crumpled cop Harry Hole is back in Jo Nesbo's Nemesis, in which our troubled hero tries to get out of the frame for an ex-girlfriend's murder while tracking a murderous serial bank robber.

Nesbo's first Scandinavian thriller translated into English, The Redbreast, was one of my favorite books of 2008, so I was pleased to find this one at the Morrison-Reeves Public Library. The Redbreast dealt with the emotional and political repercussions of Norway's Nazi involvement in World War II. This new one picks up a lot of themes and characters from his previous novel but, lacking the historical context, doesn't have quite the dramatic resonance of the prior outing.

That being said, Nemesis is a crackling good thriller with a great protagonist that reminds me favorably of Michael Connelly's notable series detective Harry Bosch. I like moody Scandinavian thrillers as a change of pace from American writers, but find that Nesbo has more the stylings of his U.S. counterparts with breakneck storytelling, linear action, and sardonic humor.

Recommended, with the caveat that you should read The Redbreast first. I am looking forward to Harry Hole's next adventure.

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