A great and rather eerie start – in prison a junkie, who is barely on this planet, who has healing hands and gives blessings and a priest who is quite the opposite. And the junkie’s father was an Oslo police officer who committed suicide because he was corrupt. I was hooked and the scene is set one of the best books I’ve read recently. There is fluency in the writing as always – the quality of it stands out for me over many other current crime thriller writers. You realise that a really good writer can convey more in a sentence than other writers in a paragraph and make that a great read – real talent. Certainly the power of creating a scene with simple words plays out quite often and with very varied emotions generated. At times humourous (bleakly so sometime), at times very violent, we enter the world of corruption and organised crime.
So in addition to the junkie, we have a policeman who knew the junkie’s father and the policeman has some issues of his own which is not surprising given Harry Hole’s character. I really liked the character of Simon Kefas (the policeman) as well as his sidekick. However I find that I am no fan of reviews that give too much away so I’ll leave you to discover the storylines that evolve from this setting for yourself. Unsurprisingly there is definitely a “dark avenger” theme here and the twists when they come are interesting even if some of them were maybe not unexpected. So often you read a very good book but the ending lets it down – not so here, the final scenes were very good indeed and the final twist I did not expect. I certainly didn’t expect to say that I think this is better than the majority of the Harry Hole stories either. I enjoyed the “philosophy of man and his condition” at the end too. One of those books I really didn’t want to end in part because I had some suspicions of what that end might be.
As a big fan of Jo Nesbo’s writing I would suggest that this will be a “must have” book for Harry Hole fans and would be a great introduction to Jo Nesbo’s work for fans of dark crime thrillers. I’d love to see another story developing some of the main characters in this – it might be possible, I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Whatever else I’ll certainly look forward to reading the next Jo Nesbo.
Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review