Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

The Redeemer
by Jo Nesbo
2009 translation by Don Bartlett
4 stars - dark and engrossing

ALR Green - one dog who meets a swift, but untimely death

After reading this book, Norway is moving way down on the list of places to retire to. The novel takes place during the long, dark Norwegian winter. Damn, it's so cold there that I needed a blanket just to read the story.

But I digress.

Great mystery, wonderful characters. This is the sort of book where even characters with only one brief scene get a bit of a back story. I love that.

From the dust jacket:

Two young Christmas shoppers stop to hear a Salvation Army concert on a crowded Oslo street. An explosion cuts through the music and the bitter cold: one of the singers falls dead, shot in the head at point-blank range. Harry Hole - the Oslo Police Department's best investigator and worst civil servant - has little to work with: no suspect, no weapon, and no motive. But Harry's troubles will multiply. As the search closes in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate, and Harry's chase takes him to the most forbidden corners of the former Yugoslavia.

The Redemption mentioned in the title comes in many layers. Redemption for horrific wrongs of the past, redemption for smaller sins of the soul in the present. Harry is a wonderful character. He struggles with alcoholism, struggles with his co-workers, struggles with his conscience. 

While Jo Nesbo is an author whose works I've read before (and will again), he doesn't write the sort of books to be consumed in rapid succession. His characters are a bit draining, his plots emotional exhausting.

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