Wasn't expecting to fall in love with this world so much! I started reading as I was due to visit Oslo and fancied reading a crime fiction book set inWasn't expecting to fall in love with this world so much! I started reading as I was due to visit Oslo and fancied reading a crime fiction book set in the city. I wasn't sure about Jo Nesbø at first, as I was sure his billing as 'the next Stieg Larsson' must have been a huge exaggeration. I'd also recently watched Headhunters in the cinema and whilst I found it enjoyable I didn't feel much empathy/connection with the male lead. Therefore my expectations weren't that high going in. However, I quickly got gripped by the complex storyline and sympathetic characters, and engrossed in the story around Norway's experience of World War Two and the fates of those who were involved on different sides. I'd be really interested in reading some opinion pieces of how well (or not) Nesbø dealt with the history here and how the past is perceived in the present day.
Loved Harry Hole as a main protagonist - yes he's yet another 'flawed cop who plays outside the rules' - but hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it, and I'm a sucker for these types of characters, especially as they remind me of myself - not that I'm a guntoting maverick, but in the sense that I'm a bit of a workaholic who's in recovery from an addiction myself, whose life doesn't fit the usual mould you see on TV of 'married with two kids' - I love reading about similarly work- involved people who have disfunctional love lives and sleep in a tiny cabin (Kinsey Millhone) or on the sofa cos they have no bed (Rebus) etc. You don't really see them anywhere outside crime fiction, and it's because I empathise with them so much that I want to read each series from the beginning so I can see how their lives evolve. And I'll be following Harry.
Finally - have to say that despite my initial misgivings after watching the film version of Headhunters, Nesbø can also write intriguing, well-rounded women characters too - really loved being introduced to Ellen and Rakel. I have a new series obsession -yay!...more
Gorgeously written, characters to completely fall in love with (the intriguing stoic albino Commander Brynd Lathraea, the achingly sympathetic rumel IGorgeously written, characters to completely fall in love with (the intriguing stoic albino Commander Brynd Lathraea, the achingly sympathetic rumel Inspector Rumex Jeryd) and a complex storyline involving parallels with today's 21st century politics - refugee crises, climate change, imperialism, genocide, political corruption - in an amazingly detailed and completely believable medieval world that is tinged with the magical steampunk capabilities of the enigmatic 'cultists'.
I re-read this as I wanted it fresh in my mind before I start the second book and enjoyed every minute. Can't recommend it highly enough!...more
This was bought for me soon after it came out - I love crime fiction, and especially love good crime fiction with LGBT characters, so this should haveThis was bought for me soon after it came out - I love crime fiction, and especially love good crime fiction with LGBT characters, so this should have been right up my street. However although I appreciate it is well written, I'm not really a fan of the quite macho gangster world, and found I wasn't really warming to any of the characters....more