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The Devil's Star (Harry Hole #5)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  37,152 Ratings  ·  1,709 Reviews
A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star - a pentagram, the devil's star.

Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the
Paperback, 528 pages
Published July 6th 2006 by Vintage (first published 2003)
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Ron Agree with Gil, it's not necessary, but, beware. You'll probably want to read more after you do read this one.

I've read some others in the series,…more
Agree with Gil, it's not necessary, but, beware. You'll probably want to read more after you do read this one.

I've read some others in the series, but, didn't start at the beginning, either. But, reading on is like eating potato chips. Bet you can't eat just 1! For me, it was the same with Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series. I couldn't read just one.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 24, 2010 Felice rated it really liked it
While a huge chunk of the planet has made Stieg Larrsson the new J.K. Rowling I have been attending a different church, The House of Jo Nesbo.

Harry Hole is Nesbo's man. He's a loner, he drinks, he's prickly, he doesn't like authority and cannot successfully sustain a romantic relationship. In other words he has all the attributes of the cliche copper according to detective fiction. What makes him different? Jo Nesbo. In another writer's hands Harry would be the any one of a thousand detectives
James Thane
Jun 01, 2015 James Thane rated it really liked it
This is another excellent, complex thriller from Jo Nesbo, featuring his tormented protagonist, Oslo homicide detective Harry Hole. This story continues a number of developments that were set into motion in the last Hole novel, Nemesis, when someone close to Harry was murdered. Harry knows who the killer is but cannot produce the evidence to make the case and it appears that the killer is going to go unpunished.

The effect on Harry is brutal. As the book opens, he has descended into an alcoholic
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 24, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Excuse me while I put on a helmet and some body armor...see some of my friends here really like this book and this series, and some were apparently waiting to see what I was going to say.

Well, I wasn't overly thrilled with it. I mean how can a book about a serial killer leave me so...meah. First there's the protagonist, a worn out guy who does "his own thing no matter what it costs others". (That's a quote from the book.)

He goes along (till the climax of course) with the "go ahead and fire me" a
Here's the thing about the recent popularity of Scandinavian writers and if you're a Nordic Thriller aficionado you couldn't care less about the distinction: the novels are depressed, somber, filled with ennui, a lack of humor, with flawed characters if not suffused with a strong tendency towards determinism; in short, whether you're reading Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, or Jo Nesbo you are likely reading Literary Naturalism. If you live in Scandinavia you might consider this par for the cours ...more
Will Byrnes
Dec 10, 2014 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
In Oslo, our hero, the very, very human Inspector Harry Hole, is trying to survive his alcoholism one day at a time, or is that one bottle at a time? But self-medicating against regular nightmares about horrific events in his past cannot kill the pain, or lessen his fears. His career is on the skids and his soul is under constant pressure from a dark-side member of the force. Hole’s obsession with work has alienated the woman he loves. His need to prove that a fellow cop is responsible for the d ...more
Nancy Oakes
Jo Nesbø is one of the best writers of Scandinavian crime fiction out there today.

summary, no spoilers:
Set in Oslo, Devil's Star features Detective Harry Hole, whose life started zooming out of control when his friend and fellow detective, Ellen Gjelten was murdered while working a case. Harry has spent much of the time since in an alcoholic stupor, neglecting his work to try to catch Ellen's killer, and putting his personal life in the trash. He knows who murdered Ellen, but proving it is a w
Cathy DuPont
Oct 21, 2014 Cathy DuPont rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yahoo! Another of the dynamite, curious, loner Harry Hole book finished. My friend Harry R. said I have to read him, Jo Nesbo and his character, Harry Hole.

I did not think, seriously, didn't think I would like Harry Hole. Put me in the Caribbean, the South Seas, Hawaii, anywhere there is beach and palm trees and I'm happy. But cold, dreary weather, not so happy. Hole is in Oslo, Norway! Where it's a heat wave at 77 degrees F.

But after reading Harry R.'s first review, I thought...ok, Harry, my f
Oct 17, 2012 J.P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where would we be in detective fiction without these screwups in private life but brilliant investigators otherwise? Harry Hole when he isn’t investigating is seemingly either blotto or on his way to a bar. He’s always close to being fired for any number of reasons and he’s a ballbuster who nearly gives his boss an ulcer. Harry’s my kind of cop.
If this is a typical Jo Nesbø novel, sheesh have I waited too long before reading him. This is crime fiction at its best. The characters are brilliantly
Katerina Paisoglou
Το πρωτο απο τα τεσσερα βιβλια του συγγραφεα που μπορω να πω οτι μου κρατησε αμειωτο το ενδιαφερον ως το τελος , εκοψα ενα αστερι γιατι καταλαβα αμεσα το δολοφονο, σιγουρα θα διαβασω και τα υπολοιπα της σειρας , αν και δεν ξεπερνα τον Μανκελ κανεις στη λιστα μου ....
Apr 13, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it
A serial killer is murdering people around Oslo, taking a finger from each body and leaving a star-shaped diamond. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to work the case with a colleague he despises, Detective Tom Waaler. Harry is convinced Waaler is a dirty cop who murdered Harry's former partner, but he can't prove it. Moreover, Harry's continuual problems with drinking and not showing up for work don't endear him to his superiors, who don't put much credence in his accusations.

The plot is complex
Jun 23, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ouch, that was brutal (but that's the point, right)? First, if you don't know Harry Hole, do NOT start with this one. (Whether you try to read them in the order they were released in the US or in Europe - which, alas, is completely different - that's another story - but don't start with this one, which, arguably, is # 3 (US) or # 5 (Europe), but I can't confirm any of that). In any event, the whole cast (colleagues, friends, lovers, and those who are good, evil, and everything in between) is bac ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Phrynne rated it it was amazing
I am so enjoying this series and Harry Hole is fast becoming one of my favourite heroes. In this book he is at a very low point in his life, an alcoholic and very close to losing his job and his girlfriend. However he is so smart he can still solve the most intricate crime and bring home the baddy. In fact the baddy is so bad that his rather horrific end is quite pleasurable! If you have not read a Harry Hole book yet then you must but don't start with this one as you really need to know his bac ...more
منى سلامة
Dec 17, 2015 منى سلامة rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
رواية شيقة جدًا .. تقع في صفحة .. استمتعت جدًا بحبكتها الذكية .. أقدر الذكاء كثيرًا في كتابة أدب الجريمة .. وأُحبط سريعًا من الحبكات التي تفتقر إلى الذكاء أو إلى المنطق.

قاتل متسلسل، وضحايا لا يربط بينهم أي خيط ظاهري .. يتولى التحقيق الضابط "هنري" .. سكير ومفتعل للمشكلات وضاق به رئيسه "مولر" ذرعًا حتى تقدم إلى قائد الشرطة بطلب لطرده من عمله.

أجاد الكاتب رسم شخصية "هنري" حتى بت قادرة على سماع ضربات قلبه !
رأيته حيًا يتحرك فوق الأسطر .. لا كلمات جوفاء متراصية .. بل روح حقيقية ابدع الكاتب في خلقها بك
Jun 01, 2012 Sasha rated it it was ok
Norwegian author Jo Nesbø made a big splash now after Stieg Larsson successful "Millenium trilogy" became publishing phenomenon - since Larsson is sadly deceased,attention focused on another writer from the north of Europe and Nesbø is advertised as "new Stieg Larsson". Well,not exactly.

Apparently Nesbø already wrote a whole series of successful crimi novels so this is just one of them,however this was my first introduction to his writing and I must say that I find them incredibly slow and suffe
Apr 06, 2010 fleegan rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2016 Isidora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced story, entertaining and good read. I like the way Nesbo devolops Harrys personality, with a hundred little details. Hole is to be fired from the police and in the beginning he reluctantly does his job, the relationship with Rakel is just a mess, another one alcohol abstinence crisis is a fact. But Harry is still standing and as the story moves on, his personality comes up with its magic. Oslo is atmospheric, as always in Nesbo's books. The man really loves his hometown. But summer hea ...more
Dec 12, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: ah-deadly
Waaler, you're going down.

This is the best of the Harry Hole books for my money. The last 40 pages are exquisite, very taut & tense & exciting. The killer reveal seems kind of implausible, but it hinges on a detail that's so gross & off the wall, I'm willing to be forgiving just because Nesbo actually went there. And Waaler gets his in a suitably gruesome way. Hooray for vengeance!
sweet jane
Oct 27, 2015 sweet jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Όταν ο Nesbo δεν μας ξεναγεί στον πλημμυρισμένο από αλκοόλ κόσμο του Χόλε, μας παγιδεύει στον λαβύρινθο του εγκλήματος. Από εκεί όμως δεν βγαίνεις με κανένα μιτο...
Tanja Berg
Rating 3.4* out of 5. I really enjoyed this, to my huge surprise. The only thing that truly bothered me was how Nesbø confused the concept of sociopath and psychopath. In this book the sociopath is the "wrong" type of serial killer - the clever and well-adjusted one. When I studied psychology, the sociopath was the petty criminal, not adjusted to society, with a long criminal record. But oh well. I got over this misstep.

A theater producer calls the police in desperation - his wife has disappear
Όταν διαβάζω αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα με κεντρικό πρόσωπο -συνήθως το αποφεύγω- δεν μπορώ να βγάλω από πάνω μου αυτή την αίσθηση πως ξαναδιαβάζω το επιχείρημα εκατοντάδων ιστοριών όπου ο δολοφόνος ήταν ή ο ένας ή ο άλλος αλλά ο μηχανισμός της υπόθεσης ήταν, ουσιαστικά, πάντα ο ίδιος.
Οι διαδικασίες για την ανακάλυψη του ενόχου έχουν αρχίσει πλέον να μου φαίνονται σαν εικόνες από παζλ αόριστα διαφοροποιημένες, φτιαγμένες πάντα με τα ίδια κομμάτια αν και με διαφορετική σειρά.
Ως μια προσπάθεια μεταστρ
Mar 24, 2011 Erik rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Brisk, dark, suspenseful to the end.
Islam Salem
Mar 23, 2016 Islam Salem rated it it was amazing
رواية بوليسية قمة في الروعة بتحكي عن العثور على جثث ناس في العاصمة النرويجية أوسلو و كل جثة منهم مقطوع منها أصبع مختلف عن التانية و محطوط جوا عين كل جثة جوهرة حمراء على شكل نجمة ، و هنا بيبدأ المحقق الشهير هاري هول اللي بيعاني من ادمانه شرب الخمور و من مأساة فقدانه لزميلته في العمل على يد زميل آخر و مش عارف يثبت التهمة عليه.
حبكة بوليسية محكمة و قمة في التعقيد و خليتني أصاب بإدمان الأدب البوليسي الإسكندنافي خاصة بعد ما قرأت للكاتب الأيسلندي إيرلاندور مخزن الأعضاء البشرية . المشكلة الوحيدة اللي قا
Jan 05, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
In another sensational Harry Hole novel, Nesbø weaves a complex and highly captivating tale of a serial killer roaming the streets of Oslo. When a woman is found murdered in his apartment, the Criminal Division is called in to investigate. Tom Waaler heads up the group, who soon discover the victim has a severed finger and a red diamond in the shape of a pentagram--the devil's star--shows up under her eyelid. Even with these interesting happenings, Harry Hole refuses to participate in the invest ...more
Lakis Fourouklas
Oct 12, 2011 Lakis Fourouklas rated it it was amazing
The publishers in the English speaking world are trying to promote Jo Nesbo, for obvious reasons, as the next Stieg Larsson. Well, that is, to say the least, ironic since the former came on the scene ten years earlier than the latter.
Anyway, let’s just skip that and focus on the novel at hand. The main protagonist here is Harry Hole, an alcoholic detective who’s spent most of his adult life making one mistake after the other. Now, exactly because of his intoxication he seems to be at the twilig
Aoife Kirkland
Jan 19, 2013 Aoife Kirkland rated it it was ok
Recommended to Aoife by: A relative
After hearing so many good reviews and positive feedback about this book, I was quite excited to read it. I was quite disappointed. I only got about three quarters of the way through. I couldn't stick through to the end!
Whilst the plot itself isn't a bad one, the book itself is painfully slow. The scenes are quite choppy with new and insignificant characters being added randomly through out the book. It didn't flow smoothly as every time a new minor character was added we would be given a small
Apr 14, 2011 Sally906 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Harry Hole is a detective in Oslo, Norway. He is an alcoholic and is about to be sacked from the Police Force as a result. It is summer, and the police numbers are down as everyone has gone on holidays. When a woman is found murdered – Harry’s boss has no choice but to call Harry in to assist with the investigation. However Harry has a problem (other than the alcoholism) the man leading the investigation is Tom Waaler, and Harry believes that Tom murdered his former partner. It is this belief th ...more
May 18, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nesbo, Jo. THE DEVIL’S STAR. (2003; Eng. Ed. 2010). ****. This is another fast-paced crime novel from this Norwegian author who seems to be gathering quite a crew of fans throughout the world. It’s the third Harry Hole episode to come out in English, and, presumably there are more in the works. Harry Hole is a wreck. He is obsessed about the killing of a former woman police officer who was his partner. He believes that one of his coworkers on the force was behind it and did it to protect his sid ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Stuart rated it it was amazing
The Devil's Star: This was a great book. I started it and finished it within 24 hours. I had never read anything by Jo Nesbo before, but he was recommended for those who, like me, enjoy the works of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. First, I’d like to give great kudos to the translator (Don Bartlett). I wondered if the book was written in English, so natural and colloquial was the writing, even down to etymology of “nightmare”.
The book starts well, with descriptions of water running through an
Lance Charnes
Oct 24, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jo Nesbo completists
The Devil’s Star is Jo Nesbø’s fifth Harry Hole novel, the first translated into English, and the second I’ve read. Like all noir, it wallows in the seamy underside of society, in this case Norway’s. It’s remarkable that residents of the safest societies on the planet can cook up stories this dark and nasty and heroes this damaged and dysfunctional.

Nesbø is a solid craftsman; his prose is clean and atmospheric, he draws characters well, his stage management is competent and unobtrusive. Several
Nov 25, 2014 Paola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Niente niente male il Nesbo. Lessi Nemesi qualche tempo fa piaciuto anch'esso assai (a parte i refusi e la scarsa cura dell'edizione).
Anche questo suo si legge che é un piacere, la qualità della scrittura però non é omogenea, ci sono picchi e ci sono zone piatte, ma insomma non si può avere tutto dalla vita.
E' comunque un bel thriller ben costruito, avvincente, che non ti fa rimpiangere le ore che gli hai dedicato a leggerlo. E con i tempi che corrono non é cosa da poco.
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Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Dokt ...more
More about Jo Nesbø...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Hole (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Flaggermusmannen (Harry Hole, #1)
  • Cockroaches (Harry Hole, #2)
  • The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)
  • Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)
  • Frelseren (Harry Hole, #6)
  • The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
  • The Leopard (Harry Hole, #8)
  • Phantom (Harry Hole, #9)
  • Police (Harry Hole, #10)
  • Žízeň (Harry Hole #11)

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“To have the chance of being loved we have to take a chance on being destroyed inside” 31 likes
“It was as if the demise of the owner had lent the flat a physical void it hadn't had before. At the same time he had the feeling that he wasn't alone. Harry believed in the existence of the soul. Not that he was particularly religious as such, but it was one thing which always struck him when he saw a dead body: the body was bereft of something...the creature had gone, the light had gone,there was not the illusory afterglow that long-since burned-out stars have. The body was missing its soul and it was the absence of the soul that made Harry believe.” 8 likes
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