fleegan's Reviews > The Devil's Star

The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbø
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's review
Apr 06, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: scandinavian-crime-fiction
Read in April, 2010

** spoiler alert ** It’s part of the Harry Hole series, but I’m not sure which number it is because in America they don’t come out in the order first published. blah blah blah heard it all before.

I will say this about the Hole series, it seems to be the most “American” of the Scandi crime I’ve read. I do like these books. I love Harry. How could you not? An alkie detective hates himself, can’t be responsible for himself, but has to “save the world”. All the other police are completely sober and clever, but they can’t solve the crime like Harry can. I know it sounds like I’m poking fun, but I’m not. I read it and I don’t think, “oh come ON!” I think, “oh, Harry. Not again. *sigh*”

However, I do have two problems (maybe three) with this book.

First, (and I think I had this problem with Nemesis too) there are too many characters in this book. And it seems like they are only there to fool you. Are they the killer? Could it be that weirdo? IS IT HER?! no? STOP WITH THE RED HERRINGS ALREADY. Plus it didn’t matter, because when the police finally catch the killer there are still 130-some pages left in the book so you know THAT’S NOT RIGHT. The ending took too long and was so convoluted that by the time I finished the book I didn’t really care anymore.

And somehow, I STILL love Harry. I think that says a great deal about the author. Good job, right?

The other thing I have a problem with is the whole pentagram thing. The killer is leaving these star shaped diamonds on the victims and there’s pentagrams at the crime scenes. And when Harry is all (and I’m paraphrasing, dig) “what’s this?” and the one of many non-important characters is all, “it’s a pentagram.” Harry’s all, “a pentagram? what’s that?” (something similar, anyway.) I can’t help but think that there’s no way. No way a police detective would be all, “pentagram? wot’s all this then?”

I’m not saying the detective should be an expert on occultic symbols, but for crying outs, he should at least be able to recognize the most widely used one. There’s even one on like, most every Rush album, you supposed Rock-n-roll detective. And it’s not like he’d have to know the whole history, right? he could be all, “a pentagram? you mean like devil worship?” and the one-too-many character could be all like, “well, historically, blah blah blah exposition.”

I dunno, maybe I’m off here. Maybe in Norway the pentagram isn’t widely known? I can’t believe that (especially in this post-Da Vinci Code world,) but whatever.

If you liked the other Hole novels then you should read this one, especially for the Hole/Waaler thing. But if you’re new to the series and new to crime fiction in general, I wouldn’t start out on this one.
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