Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Redbreast (Harry Hole book 3)” as Want to Read:
The Redbreast (Harry Hole book 3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Redbreast

(Harry Hole #3)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  92,565 ratings  ·  4,336 reviews
Harry Hole, drunkard, loner and brilliant detective is reassigned to surveillance after a high profile mistake.

He's bored by his new job until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest because of its possible links to Neo Nazi activity. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. Next Harry's former partner is murdered. Why had she been try
Paperback, 618 pages
Published October 25th 2007 by Vintage (first published January 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Redbreast, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jana Jo Nesbo is a great author, he is actually the author who got me hooked on crime books.
Dimitris Graikopoulos Dont think so. There are just some not important references to the previous books, but not a big deal
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  92,565 ratings  ·  4,336 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Redbreast (Harry Hole book 3)
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jo Nesbo ups his game. Way up.

The third of Nesbo’s Harry Hole novels, this one published in 2000. In my review of the second novel, Cockroaches, I opined that as good a writer as Nesbo is, his best work lay in the future.

Every now and then I am right about something and this time I was, The Redbreast is head and shoulders above his previous two books. This is inspired, confident and mature – almost as if he were shrugging off his Journeyman title and moving towards the ranks of master writer.

The Redbreast is actually the third of Jo Nesbø's detective novels featuring the alcoholic Harry Hole (who is on the wagon for most of this particular novel), but alas, it was the first to be translated into English. Nevertheless, it works fine as a standalone, though the impact of one particular event might have been greater had we been able to read about the character in the two previous novels. Anyway ... back to The Redbreast, which involves Nazis, both Old Skoole and Neo-, a couple of touch ...more
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 cours ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
According to goodreads alone, 7800 people gave this on average, 3.8 stars.

I should have liked this, but to be honest it was a struggle for me to even finish.

The story seems fractured, moving as it does, between two different time periods, the latter days of WWII and present day Oslo.

Nesbo writes with the kind of authority that assumes every reader would be familiar with the history of Norway and why Norwegians were mixed up with the Germans on the Eastern Front.

I kept looking, lo these many pag
Edward Lorn
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
There might be spoilers in the comments because this is one of those books you'll want to talk about with friends.

I have it on good authority (*waves at Thomas*) that Harry Hole's last name doesn't rhyme with "goal". But who are we kidding. We're gonna laugh and snicker every time I mention Harry Hole in this review so go ahead and get it out of your systems. Harry Hole... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sorry to anybody I may have offended by being a dumb American. Speaking of being a dumb American, some of y
James Thane
Jo Nesbo may be the best Scandinavian crime fiction writer going these days. He's created in Detective Harry Hole an interesting, deeply flawed protagonist who may remind American readers of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch.

The Redbreast is the third novel to feature Hole, and it's a complex story that moves back and forth between the Second World War and the turn of the Twenty-First Century. In the earlier action, a group of Norwegian soldiers are fighting for Hitler's Germany on the Eastern Fro
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I'm quitting after four chapters. There have been four different scenes, a couple dozen characters and at least two dates (out of time sequentially). I HATE books written this way. Hate them. I already don't remember the characters. I don't remember which character goes with which scene. I don't want the first chapter preview of things yet to come. Mysteries are supposed to have confusing plots, not generate confusion by having the chapters in random order. I'm done with books written this way a ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
There’s nothing wrong with this Scandinavian crime thriller, possibly the most popular of its category in recent years. Yet its technical achievements (pacing, characterization, research, atmosphere, etc) may have been what kept me being fully emotionally involved in the story. With a few exceptions of great character sketches, the story felt contrived and to clever for its own good. I would even go so far as call the plot forgettable if it were not for the numerous flashbacks to the World
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Harry Hole focussing his attention on Norwegian soil, Nesbø brings the third book in the series to the writer's attention. After a heroic act during a political summit, Hole is promoted to inspector and moved to the POT, a security directorate. In his new role, Hole begins an investigation into rumours that a high powered rifle has been brought into the country and may be used in an assassination attempt of some sort. Working in conjunction with his former partner, Ellen, they discover that ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, 2019
Fantastic!! I must love Norwegian mysteries and flawed detectives!!
Going with 4.0/4.5 stars on this one!

The Redbreast is the 3rd book in the Harry Hole series and I really enjoyed this one. I think you can read this as a stand-alone because I haven’t read books, #1 The Bat & #2 Cockroaches.

I read The Redbreast for my book club selection for July. I’m really happy they picked this mystery because it was complex, suspenseful and I enjoyed it all the way through.
Thanks Terry for joining me in a bud
Judith E
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, nordic, audible
A complex and well developed mystery that Norwegian detective, Henry Hole, must solve. Harry is suddenly promoted after he makes a gaffe in an international security situation. In his new position he comes across a murder with a WWII rifle that leads him back to suspects who fought with the Nazis at the Russian front. Harry and his partner, Ellen, find themselves in a twisting and dangerous investigation.

This is, of course, a very Nordic mystery complete with Norwegian history and background. T
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, there would never be a main character in an American mystery novel called Harry Hole, unless it was a crime-solving porn star, but it seems to work just fine, for this Norway based police officer. Harry is a tough, complex, hard-drinking cop, who may have discovered a possible assassination attempt.
I am not going to reveal very much here, because one of the joys of reading this terrific Scandinavian thriller, was never knowing where this baby was going. It’s a very ambitious novel, sp
Dave Schaafsma
The Redbreast, Jo Nesbo’s third Harry Hole thriller, represents a leap forward in quality in his writing career, as others have been observing for years. The first two, The Bat and Cockroaches, the first set in Australia and the latter set in Bangkok, gained him an international following, and are solid thrillers, and well-written, but this third book, centered primarily in Norway and Germany, was in 2014 voted the best mystery in the history of Norway. The book begins with Hole monitoring neo-N ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I enjoyed the first two Harry Hole novels, it was the Norwegian based novels that I was keen to get to.
It certainly didn't disappoint!

Harry is soon promoted after shooting a suspect assin during the American President's visit to Oslo.
His soon assigned to monitor neo-Nazi activity and a very expensive sniper rifle.

The narrative also jumps to the Siege of Leningrad and the Norwegian soldiers who chose to fight with Germany.

Hole himself is trying to keep his alcohol addiction in check,
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
]This is the third book in the Harry Hole series and Harry is developing into a very interesting and likeable character. It was nice to see him in this book in good relationships with two very important women in his life and some of the dialogue and observations were laugh aloud funny. There was a lot of concentration required as the book bounced around in time and place with many, many characters who mostly have Norwegian names! At first I wondered how it was going to all come together but of c ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Scandinavian mysteries
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: positive review from James Thane
I'm reading this series in order; this is the third book featuring Norwegian detective Harry Hole. Unlike many reviewers, I loved the writing in the first two books. There, much of Nesbø's attention was drawn to the challenge of characterizing the cultural underbelly of Australia and Thailand. THE REDBREAST is unquestionably different: more ambitious, with a wider assemblage of characters, carefully calibrated tension and adrenaline-pumping action. Yes, there are also the outlines of a classic m ...more
Cathy DuPont
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathy by: Harry Roolaart
Granted, I readily admit that I am not cosmopolitan.

Learning other languages (haven’t tried the Rosetta Stone) has always been a challenge for me never being successful---try as I may. Fortunately (or not) here in north Florida, knowing English is good enough although I do know my fair share of ‘red neck’ since north Florida is the center of the universe for the dialect. (Please don’t spread that around although I think it's already known.)

With that said, at times I found myself a bit lost read
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Jo Nesbo is a better writer than Stieg Larsson, although I enjoyed the Millenium series. This author requires some concentration, as the plot is quite complex, but it is worth it. I loved the characters and the Oslo setting. Not only do we get a well-constructed mystery, but also learn a bit of history. Looking forward to other books in the series.
Lewis Weinstein
For those who enjoy the crime story/thriller/historical genre, this is as good as it gets. It is a complex story, with many threads, beautifully written (even in translation), great descriptions of people, places and action, never overdone, and with occasional splashes of humor. Nesbo presents the story in pieces, and much is unclear as it should be in this kind of story. I paused before the final pages, wondering how Nesbo would finish it. These last scenes were brilliant, even though several t ...more
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
This one is hard for me to rate. I was sucked into the narrative almost immediately.

Things were going great. Nesbø was throwing out pieces to this puzzle and was gobbling them up like a champ.

Harry's ability to connect with people and his relationship with his partner Ellen were sources of many feels. He meets Rakel for the first time and is instantly smitten and me being the squishy marshmallow that I am loved all of his angst over her. The dynamic he gets going with Halvorsen was heartwarming.

I can confirm this is a good book, 500 pages sailed by and I was not keeping tabs on the page count, a thing I do when reading long books. It's all in the writing my friend and Nesbo has the knack for it.

Like the redbreast above, this story is made up of bits all over the place and we see our Harry put bit by bit together, painfully so. Our Harry with the weight of life on his shoulders. In this one Nesbo picks up a hot potato, history, recent history and it's subjectivity. Facets of how history
I have to say, I felt a little bit confused during the first chapters:
A strange accident with a Secret Service agent in which Harry was involved, neo-Nazi circles, scenes from the World War II, and not least, a lot of characters which Nordic names I couldn't memorize immediately.

But the plot, the characters, my curiosity and of course a masterful writing got my WHOLE attention from the very first page, and, guys, it was soooo worth it! By far the best installment in the series, and for sure on
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
1 1/2 stars. Uncomfortably and unduly complicated. I enjoyed the previous books in this series, but I had to force myself to finish this one. And although I am a voracious reader, I had a great deal of trouble keeping track of who was who, even in the denouement.
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I very much enjoyed this third instalment in the Harry Hole series.Harry is back in Oslo and after causing an embarrassment by shooting a secret service man has been promoted to Inspector and given a new role surveilling neo-Nazi activity.He soon becomes embroiled in a case involving the death of a Nazi sympathiser, a former Norwegian WWII soldier who fought with the Germans on the Russian front. He also suspects that the purchase of a powerful assassins rifle by a Norwegian may be involved in a
Nancy Oakes
The Scandanavians are geniuses in the crime-writing world; this book is 500+ pages and I couldn't stop reading until I had finished the entire thing. It is so very credible that I couldn't put it down. The characters are very well drawn, the story grabs you and doesn't let down, and the writing is excellent.

The book starts with one story line featuring Harry Hole, a police detective, and his partner Ellen, who are on surveillance detail in Oslo while the US President is meeting with others ther
For me, this was the right mix of mystery, history and action that ended up a very satisfying read. It was very well written, and I never did figure out the mystery until the very end. But, it made sense once revealed, which isn't always the case in books like this. Harry Hole, our main character, was the right combination of flawed human but very driven cop, and I sympathized with his plight and pulled for him throughout. The history part of this deals with Norway's involvement in WWII, which I ...more
Book Description

Detective Harry Hole embarrasses the Norwegian police force during a U.S. Presidential visit so he is reassigned to the Norwegian Security Service as an Inspector (a promotion that gets him out of the way and is supposed to shut him up). Assigned to investigate what should be a rather mundane case, Hole instead finds himself getting embroiled in a possible assassination plot that has its roots in World War II—involving some Norwegians who served on the Eastern Front in the servic
When they advertise Jo Nesbø as ‘The Next Steig Larsson’, I’m inclined to pass on this author. But since a lot of people seem to be raving about this author, I thought I better check him out, especially when they class his Harry Hole series as Hard-Boiled. I’ve found the only reason they are calling him the next Larsson is simply because he is another Scandinavian crime writer; which means some overly graphic murders, Nazis and an expected twist. The Redbreast is the third book in the Harry Hole ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelf, 2019
Δείτε επίσης και στο Chill and read

Το τρίτο βιβλίο με ήρωα τον επιθεωρητή πλέον Χάρι Χόλε κινείται σε δύο χρονικές περιόδους και μας μιλάει για τη στάση της Νορβηγίας στον Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο. Το βιβλίο ξεκινάει με την επίσκεψη του Αμερικανού προέδρου στη Νορβηγία το 1999. Κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσκεψης, ο Χόλε πυροβολεί έναν Αμερικανό πράκτορα που βρισκόταν σε σημείο που δε θα έπρεπε. Αντί να τιμωρηθεί όπως θα περίμενε, εκείνος προάγεται σε επιθεωρητή και μεταφέρεται στην αντιτρομοκρατική
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Horror Aficionados : The Redbreast - Jo Nesbø 87 41 Jul 25, 2019 08:06AM  
You'll love this ...: The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø| 44 55 Jun 21, 2016 04:59AM  
The Mystery, Crim...: * August/September 2014 group read - The Redbreast 41 180 Oct 02, 2014 05:59AM  
Sumner E Period: Blog #9 1 11 May 16, 2014 08:59AM  
Sumner E Period: Blog #8 1 6 May 16, 2014 08:47AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Man Who Smiled (Kurt Wallander #4)
  • The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbo l Summary & Study Guide
  • Faceless Killers (Kurt Wallander, #1)
  • The Hypnotist (Joona Linna, #1)
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1)
  • The Ancestor
  • The Absent One (Department Q, #2)
  • Journal 64 (Afdeling Q, #4)
  • Sidetracked (Kurt Wallander, #5)
  • The Ice Princess (Patrik Hedström, #1)
  • Flaskepost fra P (Afdeling Q, #3)
  • Jo Nesbo Books in Order: Harry Hole series, Blood On Snow series, Doctor Proctor series, all standalone novels. (Series Order Book 33)
  • The Nightmare (Joona Linna, #2)
  • The Find
  • The Chestnut Man
  • The Sandman (Joona Linna, #4)
See similar books…
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, Dokt ...more

Other books in the series

Harry Hole (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Bat (Harry Hole, #1)
  • Cockroaches (Harry Hole, #2)
  • Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4)
  • The Devil's Star (Harry Hole, #5)
  • The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6)
  • The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7)
  • The Leopard (Harry Hole, #8)
  • Phantom (Harry Hole, #9)
  • Police (Harry Hole, #10)
  • The Thirst (Harry Hole, #11)

Articles featuring this book

  Summer Reading is sponsored by Lifetime’s Book to Screen Movies. Who better to suggest a perfect summer read than some of the biggest...
179 likes · 126 comments
“Many people believe that right and wrong are fixed absolutes. That is incorrect, they change over time. The job of the historian is primarily to find the historical truth, to look at what the sources say and present them, objectively and dispassionately. If historians were to stand in judgment on human folly, our work would seem to posterity like fossils – the remnants of the orthodoxy of their time.” 15 likes
“And the rest of the story?" he asked, trying to force a smile. "Is that like everything else in POT, on a need-to-know basis?"
She nodded.
The waiter came to their table, but must have sensed his timing was off and went away again.
She opened her mouth to say something. Harry could see that she was on the verge of tears. She bit her lower lip. Then she put the napkin down on the tablecloth, shoved her chair back, stood up without a word and left. Harry remained, sitting and staring at the napkin. She must have been squeezing it in her hand for some time, he mused, because it was crumpled up into a ball. He watched it slowly unfold like a white paper flower.”
More quotes…