When a police officer is found murdered at the scene of an old unsolved murder case that he was involved in investigating, it can hardly be a coincidence. When the same thing happens to two other officers in a matter of months the pattern is as clear as it is terrifying. None of the old cases were ever solved. The killings are extremely brutal and the police have no leads. What’s more, they’re missing their best investigator.
At the same time, a severely wounded man is in a coma and kept alive at a hospital in Oslo. The police guard the room and the identity of the patient is kept secret.
Once again Jo Nesbø delivers a devilishly clever story about the scope of human evil; a cat-and-mouse game that involves not only the victims and the police, but also the reader.
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, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver.
I know I am a sucker for a Harry Hole book but this one has to be the best yet. I simply could not put it down. Nesbo spends most of the book playing mind tricks on the reader and even in the last chapter he gives things a little twist that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. Multiple murders, multiple murderers and the loss of some very unexpected people make it completely enthralling. There are more things I would like to say but at the same time I do not want to give anything away that might spoil other people's enjoyment. You need to read this book knowing nothing about it except that it is really, really good.
Harry Hole book No. 10 is pretty awesome - Harry's teaching police work and the rest of the team are working under the new (bad) Chief Bellman, when a serial killer begins to work his way through… policeman! Top drawer Harry Hole thriller with some big moments and a hard to catch or even work out, killer. Must read Nordic noir; and 8 out of 12, Four Star read :)
Interesting plot line marred by too much gimmickry and manipulation
A killer is targeting police officers; specifically officers who were involved in the investigation of unsolved murders. The killer lures an officer to the scene of the previous crime and kills the cop in a way similar to the original murder. The investigators believe that if they can only figure out the killer's motive, maybe they can find this relentless killer, who has left them few, if any, other clues.
Meanwhile, a man lies in a coma in a heavily-guarded hospital room. Newly-appointed Oslo police chief Mikael Bellman worries about what the man might reveal if he ever returns to consciousness.
Nesbø sets up three main suspects in the police murders and spends most of the book manipulating the reader into thinking it's X, then Y, then Z. He also tries to generate excitement by putting characters in apparent danger, cutting away to another scene and then returning to the danger scene. Quite often the danger scene turns out to be not at all dangerous, because the mysterious threat is now revealed to be a friend or co-worker. Nesbø also frequently makes a situation seem threatening by not telling the reader who a character is, just referring to him as "he," so that the reader thinks the worst.
These gimmicks to gin up excitement and fear in the reader are so frequent and obvious that it becomes like the fable of the boy who cried wolf. After he's done it a few times, the reader recognizes the gimmick and just wants to get through the scene.
There is a broader repetition in Nesbø's writing. He repeats certain key characters' places in Harry's life and plot developments involving those key characters from earlier books to this book. I can't say more without being spoiler-y, but if you've read the early books in the series, you'll spot it.
In Nesbø's serial killer books, I also feel like the killer's "voice" is virtually identical from book to book. Nesbø's writing in the non-serial killer books (like Phantom, for example) is far stronger and more engaging.
Maybe I expect too much of this series, now up to 10 books. I started reading it when The Redbreast was first published in the US, and have read every book in the series, except The Cockroaches. After this long with a series, I feel I know Harry, his colleagues, enemies, and very small circle of loved ones, and I welcome reading more about them. I always find the depiction of Oslo and its society and politics fascinating. And I did read every last bit of The Police. I just wish I didn't spend so much of the time feeling manipulated and as if Nesbø had been relying more on tricks and set pieces than heartfelt storytelling.
Police is another solidly gripping installment of the Harry Hole series. This time, someone is brutally murdering police officers at the site of old, unsolved homicides where they have investigated and the trail has gone cold. As the body count starts ratcheting up, and it hits closer and closer to home, the police realize they have no leads, and their best investigator is not available to help out.
I feel this series is at its most entertaining and spine-chilling when dealing with serial killers, and I'm happy that this book went back to that theme. There were so many clues and red herrings in here, and for a while sinister vibes were coming off of everyone. It was great fun, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. About two-thirds of the way through, I started to get an inkling of what might've been going on and was pleasantly surprised when I turned out to be right, for once!
As a random aside, I'm someone who's quite squeamish and the crimes in this book are gruesome (a Jo Nesbø hallmark), but for some reason that doesn't bother me in this series. I've been trying to figure out why for the last four books, and I still can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's so outlandishly horrifying that it comes across as quite hammed up and therefore I find it to be great fun? Although if that's the explanation, I'm not sure what it says about me.
I noticed with this and the last book that even though each is a standalone and the main crime is solved, there are a few loose ends that doesn't get wrapped up and are carried over into the next book. I personally prefer my books to be wholly self-contained due to poor memory issues, but this just means I can't wait too long until I read the next one.
10 stars Police Anyone who doesn't dare to stand up for justice should have a guilty conscience. Police is a riveting follow up to Phantom, the previous novel in the Harry Hole series and seamlessly picks up where Phantom ended. Excerpt from the end of Phantom - Nesbø's exceptionally developed characters, Beate Lønn, Katrine Bratt, Ståle Aune return in this multilayered, most creatively plotted detective mystery yet. Corruption still exists as high up as City Hall and Chief of Police.
He was asleep in there, behind the door. The guarded hospital room smelt of medicine and paint. The monitor beside him registered his heartbeats. Isabelle Skøyen, the Councillor for Social Affairs at Oslo City Hall, and Mikael Bellman, the newly appointed Chief of Police, hoped they would never see him again. That no one would see him again. That he would sleep until eternity.
There's a new series of executions in Oslo: the killer targeting police officers whose cases remained unsolved. There are no loose ends left behind, no tracks, no evidence- only vengeance. As cops are violently murdered by a killer who perfects his executions with precise detail, yet remains elusive, Oslo's Crime Squad desperately misses their old star crime solver, Hole, his sharp intuitive skills and ability to "see" what's not there.
But, Harry Hole is no longer a presence at Oslo Police.
Krimteknisk and Crime Squad must now team up to solve the murders of their own. Beate Lønn and Katerine Bratt work so well as a team that I was distracted from even missing Hole during the first third of the book. Ståle Aune's expert mental analyses and insights into the machinations of the deranged criminal mind kept me intrigued, it was hard to put Police aside. Nesbø is a master at baiting and teasing the reader, building up smoke screens- blurring the truth, directing logic and controlling the reader's deductive reasoning. The demented psychological plot lines are so well constructed that they could stand singularly without a doubt, but are ingenious, collectively and cohesively.
Nesbø, brilliant at crime-storytelling - informing the reader of cutting-edge forensic techniques and current psychological schools of thought; weaving in, for the appreciation of those who have read the Hole series, recognizable aspects of previous cases Harry had been involved in - takes a major risk in reinventing a character that has already morphed over these last 10 novels into a global phenomenon. Hole's re-creation might be the greatest move he has made, raising the bar for crime fiction series' altogether, and proves Nesbø is thinking out of the box. It's what keeps him on top of the leaderboard in crime fiction, and guarantees a faithful reader turn-out for the next Nesbø production.
In this 10th book in the 'Harry Hole' series, a serial killer is targeting police officers. The novel can be read as a standalone.
A serial killer in Oslo has a bizarre agenda. Time after time the murderer lures a cop to the scene of an unsolved crime, then viciously kills him/her in a manner somehow connected to what originally happened there.
Harry Hole is not available to assist the investigation so other members of the crime squad have to pick up the slack as best they can. This includes Harry's former boss Gunnar Hagen - the team leader;
Katrine Bratt - a clever intuitive detective;
Beate Lonn - who has a freakish ability to remember every face she's ever seen;
and Stale Aune - a psychologist who's determined to give up police work.
Meanwhile, there's plenty of other 'police stuff' going on in this thriller. A cop guarding the hospital room of a comatose patient is too easily distracted by attractive nurses and odd noises. A police academy student becomes infatuated with her professor and determined to seduce him. Mikael Bellman, the new police chief, is as corrupt as they come and anxious to hide his previous crimes. Thus Bellman had to suspend his sidekick - the murderous Truls Berntsen - because of an unexplained fat bank account that might draw attention to Bellman. Ironically Berntsen spends his free time stalking/obsessing over Bellman's beautiful wife. To top it off, the drug dealer Valentin - thought to be dead - seems to be on the loose and is suspected of being the 'cop killer'.
Almost everyone in this book seems to be a potential victim, including civilians close to the crime squad. This is a gripping story with fascinating characters, gruesome crimes, and surprising twists. Very good book.
I'm frank to confess that I have no idea how to review this book, and I will also say that, to my mind, a number of reviewers and even the publishers themselves have given away key elements of the plot that will diminish the enjoyment of the book for anyone unfortunate enough to have read their comments.
Suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was on the edge of my seat for much of the time I spent with it. Readers who have enjoyed Jo Nesbo's series featuring Oslo detective Harry Hole will certainly want to look for this one. One can safely say that the book opens with the murder of a policeman and that it soon becomes apparent that a serial killer is targeting police officers for some reason known only to him or herself. The tension begins to build from the first page and doesn't let up until the last. Readers will spend a good deal of time with their hearts in their throats. But best approach the book blind; don't read reviews (other than this one, of course) and don't look at either the front or the back of the book until you have finished it.
Every time I read one of Nesbo's books, I am struck again by just how good he is. The previous book ended with Harry being shot by Oleg, the young man he helped raise & son of the woman he loves. This one opens with a comatose patient lying in a hospital bed under police protection. If he could speak, he'd have a few things to say about a couple members of the force, one currently under suspension, the other the new chief. It's been months since the shooting & Harry's old crew have moved on without him. Someone is killing police officers involved in old cases that were never solved. That's all I'll say about the plot for 2 reasons. First, it's so complex as to be almost impossible to summarize when you could be reading the book instead of this review. Second, I don't want to spoil any surprises. Part of the joy in reading these books is trying to guess what happens next. Suffice to say, just as you think you know what's going on, think again. Nesbo is a master of misdirection. There are always multiple characters that are candidates for the "bad guy", each with a credible motive. As the story progresses, you keep changing your mind as to the identity of the killer. There are many reoccurring characters & story lines from previous books are continued. There are shifting alliances, many hidden agendas & not all of the old crew will survive the fallout from this case. Unlike many authors, Nesbo doesn't shy away from bumping off a beloved character. Tension slowly builds as we wait to see who will be the next target & you'll consider homicide yourself if anyone tries to come between you & this book. Once you're in its' grip, it's compulsive reading because you have to know how it all shakes out. Intricate plotting, sharp dialogue, compelling characters...what's not to like? You become completely invested in these people & want to see them get what they deserve, for better or worse. I wanted to add a note about the translation. Sometimes when a novel is converted to English, it has a slightly awkward flow that reminds you it was originally in another language. Not so here. Don Bartlett has done a fantastic job, maintaining the voice of each character & the wry, dark gallows humour. This is thriller writing at its' best with an intense pace & jaw dropping twists. If you haven't read this series before, don't start here. Get the first one. Each subsequent book is all the richer as you get to know the histories of each character & their relationships. What a pleasure!
Το δέκατο βιβλίο της αστυνομικής σειράς είναι καταιγιστικό και κατ’ εμέ το πιο αγχωτικό απ΄ όλα. Ειδικά στα πρώτα κεφάλαια όπου ο Jo Nesbo μας αποπροσανατολίζει χάρη στην αφηγηματική του δεινότητα. Κεντρικός πυρήνας είναι οι βίαιες δολοφονίες αστυνομικών σε τόπους εγκλημάτων που δεν κατάφεραν να εξιχνιαστούν. Επιστρέφουν όλοι οι αγαπημένοι χαρακτήρες (η Μπέτε Λεν με την ατρακτοειδή έλικα, η καυστική Κατρίνε, ο ψυχολόγος Στούλε) αλλά και οι μισητοί όπως ο Μίκαελ και ο Τ(ρ)ουλς! Α ναι και το τσόλι η Ιζαμπέλε Σκέγιεν. Μη με παρεξηγήσετε αλλά από τους newcomers συμπάθησα την ξανθούλα Σίλιε Γκράβσεν με την αυθάδικη γλώσσα.
Θα είχα ολοκληρώσει νωρίτερα το βιβλίο αλλά διέκοψα τον ειρμό μου γιατί έφυγα ρομαντικό γκέταγουεϊ. Aποσυντονίστηκα πλήρως και δυσκολεύτηκα αρκετά να βγω από το μουντ των διακοπών και να βυθιστώ στον λογοτεχνικό κόσμο του Nesbo. Όμως αφού πότισε το after-sun στρώθηκα και πάλι στην μελέτη. Με κάλυψαν τελείως τα κίνητρα του κακού όπως και στην περίπτωση του Χιονάνθρωπου.
«Εάν μετανοήσεις, ίσως λάβεις άφεση αμαρτιών, Μίτετ. Ο Χριστός είναι μεγαλόψυχος». «Με... μετανοώ. Βγάλε με από εδώ μέσα». Ένα σιγανό γελάκι. «Μίτετ, στον παράδεισο εννοώ. Δεν είμαι εγώ ο Χριστός. Από μένα συγχώρεση μην ψάχνεις».
Τέτοιους ζοφερούς κακούς θέλουμε ώστε να ορθώνονται όλες οι τρίχες, ακόμη και οι αποτριχωμένες. Σ’ αυτό το βιβλίο με ιντρίγκαρε που υπήρχαν και σεξουαλικά μπερδέματα. Ο Νesbo πάντα επιφυλάσσει πιπεράτες σκηνές αλλά στην προκείμενη περίπτωση ήταν πιο γλαφυρές οι περιγραφές. Kudos! Όσο κλιμακώνεται η βία τόσο αυξάνονται οι ελέγξιμες θεωρίες . Για μία ακόμη φορά καλούμαστε οι αναγν��στες/ερευνητές να ψηλαφήσουμε το σκοτάδι του ασυνείδητου του δολοφόνου αλλά και του Χάρι. Στον Φαντομά ήμουν συγκρατημένη στην βαθμολόγηση, σαν να είχα προβλέψει πως θα δώκω το ατόφιο και καθαρό 5άρι στο επόμενο βιβλίο. Ανυπομονώ να πιάσω το τελευταίο της σειράς που έχει κυκλοφορήσει με την πολυαγαπημένη Μένια.
‘’Γεννιόμαστε κακοί. Το κακό είναι το σημείο εκκίνησης, κάτι το φυσιολογικό. Και καμιά φορά υπάρχει και κάποια αχτίδα φωτός. Όμως είναι προσωρινή γιατί πρέπει να επιστρέψουμε στο σκοτάδι’’.
The rat bit once into the leather shoe. Licked the metal again, the salty metal that protruded between the two of the fingers on the right hand. Scrabbled up the suit jacket that smelled of sweat, blood and food, so many types of food that the linen material must have been in a garbage can. She ran up the arm, across the shoulder, stopped at a bloodstained bandage around the neck. Then she scuttled up the chest. There was still a strong smell coming from the two round holes in the suit jacket. Sulfur, gunpowder. One was right by the heart. It was still beating. She continued up to the forehead, licked the blood running in a single thin stream from the blond hair. Went down to the lips, nostrils, eyelids. There was a scar along the cheek. The rat stopped again, as if considering how to get through.
In endings we find a new beginning. This scrubbing of one death into something newly born, as books in series do, from epilogue to prologue as it were takes time during which trenchant attitudes must give way to calm and patience: Is Harry Hole dead? Did a rodent - a rat - scurry elsewhere or did it drawn by his blood bury its teeth into the scar tissue on his face, and beyond into the elastic flesh and ruthlessly gnaw its way into the soft flesh of Harry's brain? Anticipation. Much like a cockroach is determined when it skitters beneath our floor boards, we grit our teeth and open the book to its first page.
And then as a reader, we smirk, perhaps admire Nesbo for playing us like a fiddle in The Phantom, but let's face it, we know Harry isn't dead. The publisher has declared it so by releasing this, another Harry Hole novel and let's face it: it isn't often in the history of publications that a crime series continues on without its hero. And so we sneer, fully expecting Harry to jump out at us in the first few chapters, a tall viking-like figure, victorious, scarred beyond belief but somehow made new and resplendent and yes - flawed beyond redemption - once again ready to flounce his enemies.
And you'd be wrong to think it.
Flouncing his readers' preconceptions is what Jo Nesbo does for a living. Jo Nesbo is a hidden manipulator. Using vertical and horizontal control bars in different forms the book becomes an ancient form of performance in which we become his puppets; where our feelings are stretched taut like strings in a morality play to which only a master puppeteer holds the key. Fool you once, fool you twice...and fool you thrice.
If you've made it this far in the Harry Hole series you understand the veracity of this.
GR friends know that what I read is crime fiction. Why I read crime fiction is an entirely different question. So, what follows is the why of it.
In painting, something happened after impressionism: post modernism and abstraction took hold moving power away from the artist to the critic (after all, none of it could be understood). In music Stravinsky was the father of such abstraction in classical music. In literature Joyce and others decided a sentence could be pages long, naturalism came to the forefront. More and more literary authors came to believe that just because they thought it, it must be good. Plot was abandoned and now readers of such writing cling to style and prose as their fix having all but forgotten the importance of plot.
But we are human beings. Almost everything we do is a choice - it is a built in mechanism from which we cannot escape. We have a cause (something we want), then a choice, and its effect. To effectively maneuver though this maze of choices we need some sort of guide that tells us what is the right choice and which one is wrong. The guides vary of course (religion, greed, self interest, politics, etc.). But there is one fundamental cause behind all of our choices and that is to be alive. All of us share this value regardless of the guide we follow and when this root cause gets threatened, as it does so acutely in the crime genre, human beings make some fascinating decisions - most likely, all the ideas and notions that place us in conflict with others disappear because we all share this value of life. In Police the entire police force usually heavily conflicted move as one to discover the killer of their own, in real life, there were no Democrats and Republicans immediately following 9-11, there were only Americans united as one. Plot is the literary equivalent of human choice. To be human is to be volitional and nowhere is this more acutely represented than in crime fiction. Literature without choice (i.e. without plot) but chock full of concepts to me is like leaving out half the equation and simultaneously demanding the problem be solved.
Jo Nesbo is a master of very complex plots, a genius at exploring human motivations, the choices people make and the resultant consequences and in doing so embraces the essence of humanity. I can go into his talent at creating multiple story lines for each of his characters, some resolved and some left dangling for Nesbo's further use. I can tell you his forte at characterization is second to none. But, I'm not going to do that. Let's just say that it's fair to acknowledge that Jo Nesbo has taken over the mantle from Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell and is now the most prominent Scandinavian crime writer today.
Police may well be Nesbo's exit strategy, or it may not. We'll never know until a possible next in the series is published.
------------------------------------------------------------ Series Review
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 course, ennui is imbued into the populace (as it is also reflected in the works of prominent Russian writers - Anna Karenina comes to mind). Just as we continue to struggle here in the States with our history of slavery and the resulting racial tensions, so do Europe and Scandinavia struggle in coming to terms with Nazism and the Bolshevik revolution (More than a few reviewers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Nordic writers' pre-occupation with Nazism). And yet, the rise in popularity of these Nordic thrillers here in the States is puzzling given our strong tendency towards literary Romanticism. We like for the good guys to win, we like emotion, we like our heroes (as opposed to anti-heroes) we enjoy free will, and in general consider ourselves in control of our own lives.
Having said that: there is excellence in Literary Naturalism. The above doesn't mean we can't enjoy a well written novel, an intriguing mystery, a flawed anti-hero, a well crafted story written in the style of literary Naturalism n(though Nesbo seems to be moving away from this towards Romanticism as the series progress). Still, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the works of Jo Nesbo. I did.
In Jo Nesbo's words: "I come from a family of readers and story tellers." With a librarian mother and a father who sat before the fire and told the kids stories they wanted to hear (each repetition bringing something new to the tale) Jo's foundation was carved in stone. Again, in his own life story we sense the determinism filtering into his life: he wanted to be a soccer star but an injury put a quick stop to this; with a dreadful feeling of fate guiding his life he entered the military in the hopes something would happen (what happened was "Self-Discipline"); thinking he might want to be an economist he entered the world of finance which he abandoned as well; someone told him he could play guitar (he only knew 3 chords) and he formed several bands, Di Derre being the most successful; and finally he wrote (on an airplane to begin with) and he never stopped.
Yes, the books should be read in order! For an American audience, Harry Hole can be likened to Harry Bosch; he defies authority, is an outcast within his own organization, is best left alone to do this job (his office is at the end of the hall), is more of an anti-hero than a hero, has trouble with his romantic life, lives alone, has a fierce propensity for justice (as opposed to the Law) and once let loose is like a pit bull with a bone fastened to his jaws. But perhaps the most compelling reason why Harry Hole has such a following is Nesbo's devastating characterization of what exactly comprises a flawed hero. Upon reflection, American hard-boiled writers don't come close to accomplishing the same. This is not too dissimilar to the way Nesbo sees himself.
Bjarne Møller, my former boss, says people like me always choose the line of most resistance. It's in what he calls our 'accursed nature'. That's why we always end up on our own. I don't know. I like being alone. Perhaps I have grown to like my self-image of being a loner, too....I think you have to find something about yourself that you like in order to survive. Some people say being alone is unsociable and selfish. But you're independent and you don't drag others down with you, if that's the way you're heading. Many people are afraid of being alone. But it made me feel strong, free and invulnerable.
And...ah, yes, there is the matter of plot! So how do we justify this decided streak of fate/determinism within the novels with Nesbo's apparent mastery of plot? The two seemingly ought to contradict each other. On the one hand, we have Nesbo's almost Shakespearean tendency to cast characters as marionette puppets on the strings of fate (the very opposite of plot), while on the other hand we are riveted by the very complex actions and reactions made by Harry Hole during his investigations (Nesbo is a master at not adding anything superfluous to his novels). Perhaps it is an unholy marriage between the two that transfixes us. His plots are intricate, very complex, the seemingly irrelevant details exposed throughout the novels become larger than life as the story closes, and they can weave through time, forward and backward, as the story unfolds. But, with a little alacrity, we can remember we are reading Naturalism and so it isn't always Harry Hole making events happen, but rather the reverse, it is the events that move Harry Hole. Again, it is a matter of preference but in Nesbo's case it is done with utter expertise as a writer.
The exposition/setting is often Scandinavia: the weather is somber, the descriptions grey-like, the people absorbed with alcohol and withdrawn, if not bundled and sequestered. And yet, the dialogue and scenes are full of references to other milieus', continents, languages, and cleverly hidden philosophical references that speak to a widely cultured audience (as opposed to American writers of this genre who rarely venture beyond the borders of their land, if not their own State). And as with plot, there are no superfluous details. Everything in the novels matters and Nesbo does not forget even the tiniest detail to which he's made a seemingly furtive reference earlier on in the story. This is one of the biggest reasons why I love Jo Nesbo.
After Phantom's amazing twist-hanger I was almost delirious with glee and trepidation when I heard the next Harry Hole book Police was coming out.
So was my anticipation satisfied?
Yes - however not in the way I expected. Police is a weightier tome than other Hole novel's and thusly the length of the novel evokes tension as a slow-burn rather than a furious action packed feast. While perhaps less immediately exciting Nesbo plies us with a smorgasbord of corruption, deeply disturbing villains, and tormented decisions from our main characters which had my nerves fraying to the point of madness.
Nesbo has a talent for taking crime thriller tropes and twisting them into deranged scenarios than leave most other authors behind as cliche peddlers. While it takes time to warm up to this book it is definitely worth it. The end, perhaps not as shocking as the Phantom, I feel will stick in heads for a while yet.
As to a aforementioned twist-hanger? Don't expect fireworks and or huge magical reveals. Expect ambiguity and sneaky oblique plotting that keeps you guessing throughout the novel. I admit I was hoping for a dramatic conclusion to the events at the end of Phantom, but what Nesbo presents is cool in its own way.
Overall Police reads differently from other Oslo Sequence books. Longer and more nuanced, expect a familiar level of violence, but Nesbo revs up the psychological and sexually perverse aspects of crime. Ultimately creating a novel that is disturbingly original, with just enough light to satisfy.
This book starts out great but it becomes purposely confusing and misleading, to the point of utter annoyance. The storyline is all over the place with several plot threads happening simultaneously, jumping back and forth. There are 3 main suspects and the pronoun "he" is often used in place of a name to keep the reader guessing the identity of the killer. "He did this, then he did that". When you combine that with the confusion of so many convoluted, interwoven plots and red herrings, it became tiresome and frustrating. In the end, I didn't care who did it. I just wanted this book to end.
This book (original title "Politi") is a nice "crime", like all of Jo Nesbo's. Very readable, it always keeps you tied to the pages, even if in this particular chapter of the Harry Hole series, perhaps the author has let himself go a little and has stretched (in the sense of diluted) the story a little too much. In fact, at certain times the book is slow and too distracting and you want to skip a few pages and go and see where the true story begins again. What I liked is the technique that Jo Nesbo often uses in his books, that is to describe situations that the reader believes are related to certain protagonists and then discover that they are instead referred to other protagonists in other situations. I can't give examples because it would spoil, but I really enjoyed being made fun of in this way by the author. As for the plot, we see Harry Hole engaged in an investigation into a cop killer and the story is really well thought out and coherent. In parallel, Harry has a personal life, which, however, in the development of the plot heavily intersects with his professional life. Harry solves the case but the ending of the book makes it clear that not everything is solved and that there is a sequel (in fact, episode 11 ...). Three stars; in the end is a "crime" quite standard.
В "Полиция" Несбьо дотолкова се е увъртолил в създаването и нагласянето на оригинални връзки и елементи между участващите, че просто е прекалил.
Вместо поредната отлична криминална и не само история, се е получил един тюрлу-гювеч, който не се разви задоволително, поне за мен. Разкрих убиеца още в първата третина на книгата, ма карай - случва се и на най-добрите в занаята. 😉
Отново неприятен превод на Ева Кънева, пълен с грешки смислови и граматически, от работата ѝ така и не може да се разбере например, дали Силие Гравесен е топ секси мацка или невзрачна девойка, с хубаво тяло и луд блясък в очите. Мъка...
It is very rare for me to read a book twice, with the number I already own, and my current reading rate, it will take me over thirty years to finish them all - or it would if those pesky authors would stop writing new books and let me catch up! I read this in 2014, a few months after it was published, then waited and waited for the next one. In 2018 I finally started The Thirst - to discover that it was full of references to and characters from this book, and I was totally lost as I’d completely forgotten the plot. Better than forgetting I had lost the plot, I suppose. Anyway, I decided I would reread this as soon as I had time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, in the interim I discovered NetGalley (I just checked and see that I started in January 2018!) I’ve been pushing this down my TBR, paralysed by the paradox of not feeling able to continue a series I’ve loved because I had so many other books - many of which I have not loved. I’ve even got book 12 (Knife) and a couple of his stand-alones also waiting. So, finally, the time was right, and I can return Police to the special “series to keep” bookcase - and make sure I don’t wait another four years to continue with poor Harry’s traumatic adventures.
This is book ten in this series about troubled but brilliant Norwegian detective Harry Hole (pronounced Holler I believe), and it does contain a lot of references to events from the preceding one, Phantom, but I didn’t want to go back any further. If you’re new to the series, and don’t want to go all the way back to the beginning, I recommend starting with The Snowman. As it happens, the first two, (The Bat and Cockroaches,) are not that good, while Nemesis, Devil’s Star and Redeemer make a trilogy that also need to be read in order. Stop now if you haven’t already read Phantom. Seriously, don’t spoil yourself, you’ll regret it, go and buy Phantom at the very least, it’s brilliant, but very dark.
A policeman is lured to a crime scene at the site of an unsolved murder - to become a victim himself. Three months later, another gruesome death occurs on the anniversary of another violent death - where again the killer was never caught. Why is someone recreating these cases and punishing the officers who worked on them? Meanwhile, a top secret patient remains in a coma in hospital under 24 hour guard because he’s the only witness to a series of drug-related crimes, but a corrupt VIP wants to ensure he never wakes up…
OK, spoilers ahead. As mentioned, I had forgotten almost everything except the major twist: at the end of Phantom, Harry was shot by Oleg and left for dead. Now the fact that there are now three more books about him do rather give away the fact that he didn’t die. But the author certainly leads you up multiple garden paths before Harry - the new, shiny, sober version, finally appears to make the deductive leaps that none of his former colleagues can achieve. This had me suspecting almost everyone - and fearful for all the Good Guys we’ve come to know through the series - with good reason as it turns out.
In eight years I’ve lost my taste for gruesome serial killer thrillers, and probably wouldn’t even have started this if I wasn’t already so far into the series - and even so, I thought it might be too dark for me (I’m still traumatised by the torture instrument from The Leopard - definitely not reading that one again) except I know that while Nesbo is not afraid to break your heart, there are some places he won’t go. I’m leaving my rating at 5 stars, because this is a fantastic suspenseful thriller with more twists than Chubby Checker’s biggest hit, that kept me guessing until the end both times.
Original review from 2014 (wow they used to be so concise!):
The last book ended on such a cliff-hanger that I wondered if that was the end of the series, so was mightily relieved to discover there would be at least one more book. This one picks up a few months on from the events of Phantom with the Crime team investigating murders of police officers At the scenes of old us solved crimes. I can't say much more without giving away any of the whole series of clever twists, which just keep coming - there is so much misdirection that each time you think you have it worked out, bam, another suspect is revealed. The suspense kept me hooked and I finished it in a day. I would definitely recommend reading the books in order - at least from the Snowman on, as there are so many recurring characters that it would be quite confusing to read this as a first entry into Harry's adventures. It feels like there may be more books to come, although how much more trauma can poor Harry bear?
The usual roller coaster of emotions as the grizzly, cynical, alcoholic, conflicted, brilliant ex cop Harry Hole cuts a swath through the Oslo underworld, attracting serial killers like blow flies on rotting meat along the way.
Nesbo constructs fiendishly complicated plots that leave you reading just another page, just another page - until before you know it is 2am on a work day (curse you Jo). Sadistically he leads you up blind alleys, only to slalom around to the next dead end or finely observed miniscule factoid/clue that only Harry picks up on. Gruesome and ingenious murders throughout - the population of Norway must be down to about 50,000 by now.
Well I had Harry dead twice and identified the wrong killer three times before the end of the book. A great thriller, worth a read.
The only slight note of unease from me was the recurrence of deadly danger to Harrys love interest - the long suffering Rakel - and her junkie son. There must be a murderer in Norway who does not want to top these two but you wouldn't know it.
Another Harry Hole story. The man has nine lives. In The Phantom we left him shot three times. But like Lazarus he survived. Thanks to bullet proof vests.
This time around a serial killer is murdering police by luring them to the scenes of their unsolved crimes The young unlikeable corrupt Oslo Chief of Police Bellman is under increasing political pressure to solve the case. However, the killer leaves no DNA traces at the scenes of their crimes and is able to lure his victims with ease to their deaths. Around 200 pages into the story Harry appears as the Oslo police are desperate. Harry Hole is sober and teaching at a police training university.
Some old characters return with forensics expert Beate Lonne and psychologist Stale Aune as well as Mikael’s sidekick Truls Bernsten still obsessed with Ulla, Mikael’s long suffering wife. We also meet Arnold Folkested another lecturer who helps Harry out of a tight spot with an obsessed female student.
There is also another possible killer who the police are trying to catch. Overall a good story with some good twists The sub plot with the female obsessed fan is not really necessary. The murders get more violent and the killers motive at the end is a little far fetched but then again the killer was insane!
Jack Reacher versus Harry Hole. That's been a contest during my August reading, but sorry Mr Child, Jo Nesbo has blown you out of the water. I've been lucky enough to receive a preview copy of Police, the new Harry Hole story, and its a five star, no if's or but's. Nesbo is boxing very clever in Police, giving us leads that are really ruses, especially as regards the state of health or otherwise of Harry. In fact we have to wait until Chapter 18 to get a real sense as to Harry's inclusion in the story. Harry has taken on a new life but the latest series of murders, all involving police officers is proving hard to solve. The new Chief of Police and Harry don't see eye to eye either. And then there's Harry's life with Rakel and Oleg which is now heading into uncharted territory. Its hard to say more without giving the game away. You'll just have to trust me that Jo Nesbo has raised the bar to new heights in Police. Despite the Snowman, the Leopard, Phantom and the rest, I think this just might be the best Harry Hole thriller yet.
Full kudos to Nesbo, the magician, trickster per excellance!
This being my 11th Nesbo, I had as usual prepared myself to his tricks, to not be drawn in, turned around and sidetracked, hoodwinked with a nod and a wink. Oh I was prepared and still grrr, I got pulled in and had to shield myself from all the theories and red herrings slapping me in the face, leaving me grasping at straws.
Bravo, what else can I say. Reading Nesbo is an immersive experience, you become part of the trickery, going on. The way he plays sleight of words, rather than sleight of hands, is an art. He shows you one thing, then presents another and even though you are prepared and if you go back you see the clues, still you are left open mouthed.
Another read with my Harry Girls, Alona and Lena :D
Loved this book. I think that it’s one of the best works of Jo Nesbo. There were no excessive attempts to make the story longer. He built the whole story plot very nicely. For this reason, It'll be a very tough work for readers to predict the conclusion of the story.
Θετικά στοιχεία -Είχε ανατρεπτικό τέλος (όπως συνηθίζει ο Jo) -Η λογοτεχνία είναι η τέχνη του λόγου κι ο συγγραφέας απέδειξε το ταλέντο που έχει στην αφήγηση του τελευταίου κεφαλαίου -Μου αρέσει όταν ο συγγραφέας σου δίνει διάφορα «κομμάτια-ψίχουλα» κατά τη διάρκεια του έργου και στο τέλος, χωρίς να το έχει σκεφτεί ο αναγνώστης, τα επικαλείται για την εξουδετέρωση του δολοφόνου.
Αρνητικά στοιχεία -Δεν έχω ιατροδικαστικές γνώσεις αλλά ο συγγραφέας μου δημιούργησε ένα ερώτημα. Πώς απεφάνθη η αστυνομία πως μια νεκρή κοπέλα βιάστηκε χωρίς να βρουν ίχνη σπέρματος, DNA και αποτυπώματα; (Ο συγγραφέας δεν το αιτιολογεί στο βιβλίο) -Τεχνάσματα για την παράταση της αγωνίας χωρίς λογικό υπόβαθρο:
Καταρχήν μέχρι τη σελίδα 200 πάει η ψυχή μας στην Κούλουρη και ξαναγυρνά όσον αφορά τη σωματική υγεία του Χάρι… Δεύτερον εκείνο το έγκλημα κάπου στη μέση του βιβλίου, εκεί που ο Χάρι είναι τόσο χαρούμενος… έλεος ρε Νέσμπο, κολλητός του Μάρτιν είσαι; Άδικος φόνος και αχρείαστος…
Στο τελευταίο βιβλίο λοιπόν της σειράς που κυκλοφορεί προς το παρόν, ένας παρανοϊκός δολοφονεί αστυνομικούς και ο Χάρι καλείται να τον ανακαλύψει. Συν τοις άλλοις, οι περιπέτειες του Όλεγκ δεν έχουν τελειώσει, καθώς αναμένεται η δίκη για την περιπέτεια που μας απασχόλησε στο προηγούμενο βιβλίο (είναι συνεχόμενα, το ξαναλέω: ΜΗΝ διαβάσετε την «Αστυνομία» πριν το «Φαντομά»). Ο Χάρι πλέον είναι μια ευτυχισμένη οικογένεια με τη Ράκελ και τον Όλεγκ, ο οποίος είναι καθαρός πλέον από τα ναρκωτικά, αλλά οι ηθικές αρχές του Χάρι έχουν υποστεί πλήγμα. Και θα υποστούν ακόμα μεγαλύτερο με το ξεκαθάρισμα αυτής της υπόθεσης. Προσωπικά ο δολοφόνος και το κίνητρό του δεν με έπεισαν: μιλάμε όμως για βαριά ψυχικά άρρωστες καταστάσεις και ανθρώπους, και ο ήρωάς μας με τους οικείους τους έχουν πλέον βυθιστεί βαθιά στα μαύρα σκοτάδια.
Το βιβλίο κλείνει με μια νότα αισιοδοξίας, η οποία δεν είναι παρά η εξαίρεση σε όλα όσα έχει να αντιμετωπίσει ο Χάρι και τις απώλειες που έχει υποστεί, τουλάχιστον όμως θα έχει έναν ώμο να στηριχτεί, ο οποίος δεν θα είναι το μπουκάλι του Jim Beaver. Αρχίζουμε λοιπόν να αναρωτιόμαστε ποιοι δαίμονες ήταν τελικά περισσότερο αληθινοί: οι τωρινοί ή το αλκοόλ;
ΑΝΑΜΕΝΟΥΜΕ ΜΕ ΑΓΩΝΙΑ ΚΑΙΝΟΥΡΙΟ ΧΑΡΙ ΣΤΑ ΤΕΛΗ ΜΑΡΤΙΟΥ ΤΟΥ 2017!!!
”Polícia” (2013) é o décimo livro da série Harry Hole do escritor norueguês Jo Nesbo (n. 1960). Depois do final enigmático e em aberto de ”O Fantasma” (2011) o detective Harry Hole está ausente na parte inicial de o ”Polícia”. Os seus colegas são confrontados com um assassino à solta em Oslo que selecciona cuidadosamente as suas vítimas: todos eles eram polícias que directamente se envolveram em anteriores investigações de crimes violentos que nunca foram resolvidos. As vítimas são assassinadas em circunstâncias muito semelhantes às dos crimes anteriores que estavam a investigar. Mais uma vez Jo Nesbo constrói um enredo complexo e intenso com base numa equipa de investigação heterogénea e ambígua com destaque para Gunnar Hagen – chefe da Brigada Anticrime, Mikael Bellman, Beatte Lonn, Katrine Batt e o psicólogo Stale Aune, entre muitos outros; concebendo e caracterizando de uma forma exímia as personagens e os seus envolvimentos pessoais e profissionais. Polícia é a obra da série Harry Hole em que existem mais referências ao anterior livro da série, pelo que se torna imprescindível a leitura de ”O Fantasma”. Jo Nesbo escreve mais um excelente policial com um suspense e níveis de violência atrozes e perversos, destacando-se uma inigualável componente sexual, quase sempre ausente nas anteriores livros; realçando as noções de justiça, as ligações políticas e corruptivas no seio das forças policiais, e no final todas as diferentes subtramas se interligam. Venha o próximo…
NOTA: Não entendo e não aceito que se traduza um livro em norueguês do Jo Nesbo a partir de uma tradução do inglês. A tradutora insere setenta e nove notas de rodapé - mas depois não tem a "coragem" de introduzir uma nota de rodapé a "explicar" ao leitor o que é o site Pornhub, revelando um puritanismo inexplicável. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
It took me a while to get around to this book and I think it was at least partly due to it being of a quite daunting thickness (well over 600 pages in paperback in contrast to the early ones of the series that clocked in at just over half that). It very soon became very clear to me, however, that if Nesbø writes this well, he can use as many pages as he wants to, as far as I'm concerned (or... almost, anyway). The return of Harry Hole is a very effectively told roller-coaster ride of a story and packed with both surprising and shocking events. Two times the author tricked me really good, but when he tried pulling the wool over my eyes about the ending, it was one too many. I didn't mind, though (was way too relieved for that I guess).
All in all, a highly recommended, very well written police thriller. The missing star is really only due to the aforementioned length of the book. Not a huge problem, but there is a part in the second half that really could have been edited down with nothing lost, and the story loses some momentum here.
Nesbø brings the Harry Hole series to a close with a thriller that keeps readers focussed until the final sentence. After the vague, yet horrible, end to the previous novel, the complete cast of characters remains in shock about how the Oslo Crime Squad will continue. When a number of police officers are murdered after returned to crime scenes of previously unsolved cases, there's a struggle between the Squad and Kripos (the national police organisation) as to who will handle things. Newly-appointed Chief of Police, Mikael Bellman, defers to the national authorities, though does permit a loose collection of Squad members to run a covert investigation. Leaderless now, with Hole's seat empty, the team tries to piece things together, with little success. Lingering over them is the Gusto Hanssen case, crux of the previous novel, which remains unsolved, though many feel Hole knew how it all came together. Some key players in the scheme, from criminals through to Bellman and his lackey, remain on high alert, as their futures could hang in the balance if such news were shared. As the Squad limps along, trying to solve the police murder, they face a devastating reality, and are hit with tragedy. At this point, they can no longer work alone. Harry Hole, now a full-time instructor at the Police Academy, is called upon to help as a consultant. Hole is tepid in his acceptance, but needs a distraction as he is badgered by an overly flirtatious student who cries wolf when things do not go her way. Hole works as best he can and traces down a few leads, with a focus on the killer from the original crimes, most of whom have a strong sexual component to them. Alibis preclude an easy arrest and the Squad is forced to return to the drawing board, with little to show for their work. As Hole is wont to do, he finds a thread and pulls, which causes everything to unravel to its bare basics and offers new insights that the Squad had not seen beforehand. With a Cop Killer on the loose, other storylines also ramp up, leaving the reader to split their interest along a few developing narratives. With nothing to lose, will Hole end his time as Nesbø's protagonist on a winning note, or will the Crime Squad disappear onto the literary horizon with more unanswered questions and force readers to extrapolate on their own? Brilliant work, told in such a way that no Nesbø fan could complain.
Nesbø is a master at picking up where he leaves off, not always letting the reader breathe before pushing the drama that ended the previous novel into the forefront. His insinuations, at multiple points in the book, leave the reader to wonder what if rather than knowing how things will play out. Nesbø's use of a sizeable character base allows multiple plots to develop without straining realistic expectations of those he uses as vessels to guide the narrative. Harry Hole may be central, but Nesbø shows how the story can progress without him, at least for a period, while installing fear and loathing in the reader. That the series had to come to an end is inevitable, though Harry Hole had an excellent run. With new and disturbing addictions or dark pathways, Hole remains a man with a number of struggles for which he has not found an answer. This ever-evolving character exemplifies how Nesbø is able to hold onto his 'Master of the Art' title without much opposition by readers.
When I began this Harry Hole journey, I was not sure what to expect. On the one hand, I love a good police procedural, particularly one that takes place outside of the normal 'North American' or 'British-centric' locales that many of the novels I have read find themselves developing. On the other, there is always a gamble to be taken when reading a collection of novels that were written in a language other than English. The translator must be stellar, as they represent the author's ideas. As my Norwegian is as rusty as it could ever be, I relied on a translation and the hype Harry Hole had received to see if things could develop into an addictive for me. Like Harry Hole and bottle of Jim Beam, they did and I was ensconced in the series from the early stages. While it took three books to pull the story into Norway, once things got moving, there was no end to the wonders Nesbø placed before the reader. That Hole is an effective detective is even more surprising, based on the addictions and dark side he undertakes throughout the series. As I have mentioned at numerous points in past reviews, the alcoholism and drug abuse seem only to heighten Hole's abilities, while pulling the reader into the dark world of drugs on Oslo's streets. With a successful trilogy built into the larger series, Nesbø keeps the reader hooked and wanting more. Hole's ongoing love interests seem to flit across the page, though Rakel's emergence with her son Oleg remain a storyline that Nesbø does not end and Hole relies upon, no matter what he is doing. I cannot say enough about this series, this author, or the fact that Scandinavian crime novels seem better than much of the genre that is written in English at the outset.
Kudos Mr. Nesbø for a powerful piece to end the series. I have found a new favourite author and will recommend this series to anyone who will listen.
This is such a hard book to review because even the smallest detail about the content - the way the story unfolds (which can be very persuasive in a review) - runs the risk of spoiling what is an absolute cracker of an addition to the Harry Hole canon. All I can say is that the narrative didn't begin as I anticipated at all, even though it follows on from the events in the last book, The Leopard, and it’s this defying of expectations that sets the standard and pace for the rest of the tale. As Police opens, we’re back in Oslo, there are grisly murders a-plenty only, this time, the stakes are even higher as it’s members of the force that are being killed. Not only that, but their deaths are a brutal reenactment of cold cases – cases that the new victims were once assigned to solve. As the body count grows, so does the pressure and the fear – who will be next and why?
Never has the act of reading been so analogous to riding a roller coaster as you are lifted to great heights before being flung into complete, heart-stopping despair; there are twists and turns, false corners and such sharply angled ones, you sustain the equivalent of literary whiplash reading this book.
What is also evident from the moment the story starts, is that you're in the hands of a master. There's a sense in which, as gruesome as this bloody tale of revenge and thwarted intentions is, Nesbo is having fun with the reader... He is playing mind games with us and they damn well work. Persuading us into one way of thinking only to reveal another, Police, perhaps more than any other of the Hole books, allows us to identify with the investigation, gives us access to the minds and feelings of the frustrated investigators as we share their experiences, concerns and suspicions. Nesbo not only leads us up one garden path, that he has cobbled, bordered with plants, lit brightly or plunged into darkness, strewing it with characters we expect to find and those we do not, he then strands us in the middle of what we quickly understand isn’t a path, it’s a labyrinth. A psychological, emotional and physical one that familiar characters and new ones inhabit with varying degrees of comfort and control. There is never a dull moment in this tale, nor is there an opportunity to catch your breath. Not for the faint-hearted, this latest (and I hope not final as has been rumored) addition to the Hole series is simply brilliant.
Thinking about this book, the series and how it has evolved, I can't help contrasting it with the works of certain American "best seller" mystery/thriller authors whose series characters now lack the imagination, energy and complexity they showed in earlier books. "Police", Jo Nesbo's 10th Harry Hole book, takes the series and the genre itself, to a whole new level of non-formulaic excellence and establishes him on the cutting edge. Without giving away the plot lines, Nesbo has created an exotic fictional universe in Oslo Norway, peopled by dynamically good and evil characters that evolve in multi-dimensional ways in tandem with the plot. What I most liked about this book was it challenged my thinking process about the "who" and the "why", which is in my view, the objective in an effective mystery. Those questions get answered in the authors uniquely brilliant and original style in this masterpiece of suspense. ...........Ed
Bez obzira na Nesbove uspone i padove, serijal o Harry Holeu ostaje mi krimi serijal broj 1.
Slučajevi o kojima priča su interesantni, ali postaju sve ekstremniji, od Sneška nadalje. Verovatno je tu i previše obrta, ponekad mi se čini na silu; upao je u trend gde krimi roman mora da ima barem jedan obrt u priči - a kod Nesba ih je sad u svakom romanu po nekoliko. Neke fore se čak i ponavljaju.
Konkretne su to zamerke, ali tamo gde Nesbo briljira, to je psihologija likova. U njihovim smo glavama, verno nam opisuje o čemu razmišlja sporedan lik koji će biti s nama na možda dve strane. Psiholog i njegova motivacija za rad. A posebno strah koji doživljavaju likovi koji su suočeni sa dolazećom ličnom apokalipsom.
Čini mi se da je u tome sve bolji i bolji. Još da su mu slučajevi razrađeni kao u prvih par knjiga. Pratim ga do kraja, nema mi druge...