Stuart's Reviews > The Devil's Star

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø
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's review
Aug 08, 11

bookshelves: crime-mystery, scandinavian
Read from August 06 to 08, 2011

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 old Oslo house, but specifically though the old mortar that had been created in the 1900’s using sheep blood. And the book returns to the bricks and mortar theme periodically, not in a creepy way, but almost as a special sauce to keep the metaphor going. A nice touch.
Then the story starts. It is a great story, with excellent plot twists. I was convinced I knew what was going on, and wondered how the author could spin it out for another 200 pages, when the direction changed completely.
One very hot summer in Oslo (I didn’t know there were such things) a serial killer turns up. He is leaving satanic clues, and pentagrams, but leaving the police baffled. Only Harry Hole, the hero of Jo Nesbo’s novels, can find the connections it seems, but he is in a struggle with a fellow policeman whom he suspects of corrupt behavior. As it is the height of summer, there is no one the team available to work on the case except these two and the faithful and dogged forensic investigator. Will Harry’s personal animosity towards his colleague prevent him from solving the crime?
My one slight complaint is that Harry Hole is a bit too alcoholic, a bit too wasted. It seemed almost like a caricature. But after a while, I accepted that, and moved on. And the twists get you involved and staying up to finish the superb book. Highly recommended! On to the other Jo Nesbo books!
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