James's Reviews > Nemesis

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø
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's review
Jan 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: crime, translated, harry-hole
Read from August 11 to 16, 2012

Harry Hole returns in the fourth book in the series by Jo Nesbø (although only the second, translated ably, by Don Bartlett) and follows on from Redbreast . Some time has passed between the two novels, although it's not entirely clear how much - not enough to change the other people around him too much or for him to have ruined his relationship with Rakel (surely only a matter of time) or to have forgotten the murder of his partner, Ellen, but enough for there to be a new girl on the force - Beate Lønn - an expert in video analysis.

Nemesis is two crimes in one; a bank robbery, where the robber executes one of the bank staff when his request to get the money within a certain amount of time isn't met. The other, an ex-girlfriend of Hole's, Anna, who he meets up with for drinks is found dead in her apartment - apparently suicide - however Hole's memory of the evening is a total blank. So while investigating the bank robbery with Lønn, he's also trying to continue the investigation into the death of Anna without implicating himself to his colleagues, and not forgetting the ongoing investigation into the death of Ellen that he's struggling to keep alive.

So far, so confusing. One cop, three cases, but, Nesbø didn't think that was confusing enough. The three cases are intertwined, common threads and characters appear and disappear from one case to another and so on. Hole's own blackouts further confuse the second case, and finally, every time Hole decides he's solved a case, you soon realise he hasn't. The two main cases both have twists, even their twists have further twists. Until you're thoroughly confused. The robbery is solved half-way through the book. I assumed this was to free up the rest of the book to concentrate on the Anna and Ellen cases, but nope, Hole's got the wrong man (and not for the last time). If you can keep up, both the main cases have very clever resolutions, although the Ellen case really never gets much further than in Redbreast - there are hints and clues provided to us the reader, but Harry never really gets anywhere. Fingers crossed that Waaler, the Prince, gets his comeuppance in the next book.

Gripping and well paced, even as confusing as it was. You're never quite sure how closely the cases are connected, or who is guilty, is getting framed, or is just lying to us, right until the end. (view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

08/11/2012 page 104
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Hi, it's a very good review here. You are right about confusing part . There's one thing that I couldn't grasp to understand. Who killed Arne Albu ? harry found his body sticking upside down on the sands near the chalet, and later he admited that he killed Albu ? I;m confused here .. thanks

message 2: by James (last edited Aug 23, 2012 04:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

James Thanks Daniel. You're right, most of the deaths in Nemesis aren't really explained in detail. I've read in some of the other reviews that many of these loose ends are tied-up in the next book The Devil's Star . However, my understanding of the death of Arne Albu was that Raksol had arranged to have him killed as revenge for the death of Anna. I think Harry blamed himself because he'd given Raksol enough information to track Arne down, as well as telling him that Arne was the murderer.

message 3: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Thanks James, well that's explained a little bit. You're right might've been Raskol arrange the revenge. And I'm currently reading the devil's star here. and i think i keep going to read all of nesbo's books. cheers

message 4: by Erika (new)

Erika nice review! I have a question, is it necessary to read the series in order, or can i pick any book without problems?

James Erika wrote: "nice review! I have a question, is it necessary to read the series in order, or can i pick any book without problems?"

Thanks. So far I've only read the three books that are known as the Oslo trilogy: books #3, #4 and #5 (books #1 and #2 hadn't been translated into English when I started). Each of these three books have a stand-alone story and can be read in any order, so no I don't think it's necessary to read them in order at all. There is a background story though that starts in book #3 and runs through the three of them that I think would make them better read in the correct order. Hope that helps.

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