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The Devil's Star (Harry Hole #5)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  28,868 ratings  ·  1,421 reviews
In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat—with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner ...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Harper Perennial (first published 2003)
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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
Will Byrnes
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
James Thane
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
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
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
Mike (the Paladin)
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
Cathy DuPont
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
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
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
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
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
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Excellent. Brisk, dark, suspenseful to the end.
Lakis Fourouklas
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
William Bentrim
The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

This is a complicated mystery. The fact that it was translated from the Norwegian did not help matters. A serial murder is tracked by an alcoholic cop with one foot in the grave. The murders are almost a subplot to the self redemption of Harry Hole, the alcoholic cop.

Complicated, convoluted, intricate and compelling all describe this story. I had trouble getting into it. I persevered and am glad I did so. Harry Hole is not terribly likeable but he is brilliant and in
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.
Waaler, you're going down.

And go down he did, or at least part of him. 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!
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
I started the Harry Hole series with The Snowman, and I loved that book so much I decided to read The Leopard, with the first books in this series not yet published in the U.S. So I was very excited when his first books : The Redbreast, The Nemesis and The Devil's Star were to be published here. So I started with The Redbreast which I loved, it started slow but was so complex and really picked up steam and was a true page turner at the end! But The Nemesis left me feeling cold, I had a hard time ...more
The Devil's Star continues the story of police detective Harry Hole, who has been in such other Nesbo novels as The Redbreast and Nemesis. Harry is a mess; he is an alcoholic, too involved in his work (and about to get fired), and these flaws have distanced him from his girlfriend and her young son.

When women are found murdered in Oslo, a serial killer is on the loose, and Hole must work with a detective he believes is involved in the death of his former partner. Her death precipitated his decli
If you enjoy crime fiction, you know that most of today's writers have one or more series based on a particular character. In so many cases, the books build on one another. When I start a new author with the newest book, inevitably there are a lot of questions in my mind. The fact that I started with his third book (at least in translation) didn't diminish my enjoyment. Reading Nesbo is something of a challenge. He's probably one of the most cerebral crime writers I've read. There's a lot going ...more
Lance Charnes
Oct 24, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Silvia Ribeiro
2,5 estrelas.
Muitos personagens, grande parte deles desnecessários, prejudicam a leitura e tornam-na confusa. E estas conclusões mágicas que só o Harry Hole descobre, não me convenceram.
The 2nd best of the Inspector Harry Hole series......of those read so far. It starts very slowly with Harry deep in an alcoholic haze that he seems unable to exit following the trauma he has experienced in the previous 2 books in this mid series sub-plot trilogy. This early portion of the book takes up near;y 125 pages, so bear with it as it gets better and better.
Apr 17, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of great policiers
Another great read from the adventures of that self-destructive police-officer Harry Hole.

When the story starts Harry Hole is drunk and about to get fired from the policeforce. After his last case he has lost faith in the police and his girlfriend has lost faith in him.
When he gets assigned a murder investigation with Tom Waaler he does his best to get out of it, because he considers his collegue a murderer himself.
When he gets assigned another case while working his last days the first case get
I did not realize when I started this book that it was fifth in a series of ten, so far. While it does stand alone, I think I would recommend reading them in order.

Detective Inspector Harry Hole has been on a drunken bender for several weeks. Having been obsessed with the idea that a fellow cop, Tom Waaler, is corrupt and had killed two people in order to hide his activities, he had come to the conclusion that he was stymied and unable to take the case further. He has but one ally in the police
After reading the first five of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series, I guess its time to write a review. Nesbo's writing style takes a major leap between the first two books in the series and those that follow. His stories become more complex and compelling (to the point that you must pick up the next book when you finish the previous one). Harry's personal story of alcoholism and crushed relationships is the emotional foil to all the technical detecting, blood and suspense. Sometimes that personal sto ...more
Maria João Fernandes
"Preferia o calor ao frio, a luz à escuridão, a companhia à solidão, o som ao silêncio."

Li que Jo Nesbo é um escritor que sabe sempre como o livro vai acabar antes de o começar a escrever. Quanto ao leitor tem de enfrentar várias reviravoltas, falsas pista e caminhos sem saída até encontrar a explicação final.

No 5º livro da série de Harry Hole (3º livro traduzido em Portugal), o inspector tem de encontrar um serial killer e lidar com um inimigo que trabalha ao seu lado, no departamento da políci
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Aiossa's 12/13 Se...: Tony Manaloto Book Review#2 1 11 Oct 18, 2012 03:46PM  
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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 (10 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)
The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3) The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7) Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4) Phantom (Harry Hole, #9) Flaggermusmannen (Harry Hole, #1)

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“To have the chance of being loved we have to take a chance on being destroyed inside” 23 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.” 7 likes
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