by Jo Nesbo
translated by Don Bartlett
1998, 368 pages
2 stars - well, that was disappointing
Well, having given Jo Nesbo's 6th Harry Hole mystery, The Redeemer, four stars, I was looking forward to stepping back to the second book in the series, but it was not what I expected.
In this book, Harry Hole, alcoholic Norwegian detective, finds himself assigned to solve the murder of the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand. Given that the ambassador's body was discovered in a brothel, the Norwegian officials are anxious to keep things under the radar until a palatable explanation can be found. One and only one detective will investigate and Harry Hole is assigned to the case.
Harry's barely holding on to his sobriety and his boss is curious regarding the assignment, but since the order came down from above, nothing to do but send him packing.
Well, if nothing else, Mr. Nesbo has succeeded in deterring me from any thoughts of visiting Bangkok as he describes the city to be full of crime, traffic, unsavory characters, and impossible weather.
The story, unfortunately, did not engage me. I admit to being flummoxed by both the Norwegian and Thai names and keeping track of characters was difficult, but that wasn't the real problem. It was all just too scattered and even in the end, when the plot came together, I still wasn't entirely sure what had happened.
That said, I've gone ahead and put Harry Hole #3 in my reading queue. You never know, maybe Mr. Nesbo was still finding his voice while writing #2. It's worth a shot.