Ellen Keim's Reviews > The Leopard

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø
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Jan 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: scandinavian
Read in January, 2012

As usual, Jo Nesbo delivers an intricate plotline, but in The Leopard, he might have overstepped the boundaries, at least for this reader. I had much the same reaction to this book as when I go to a movie and say, "That was great, but it was about a half hour too long." On the other hand, can you ever get enough of Jo Nesbo's writing or of his character Harry Hole?

Harry Hole is barely subsisting in a haze of drugs and alcohol when he reluctantly agrees to return from his self-imposed exile in Hong Kong to aid in a murder investigation. His father is dying and he has to also deal with the ghosts of his past. He becomes embroiled in a particularly nasty case of office politics at the same time that he is trying to track down the murderer, who is identified several times only to turn out to be the wrong man.

Nesbo packs so much into this book that it was difficult for me to take it all in: there are three locales--Hong Kong, Norway and Africa; a new love interest for Harry; more than one villain; several police jurisdictions; old and new cases of missing persons; faked identities; Harry's own struggle to try to find a reason for living; his relationship with his father and sister; brief (and unsatisfying) contacts with Rakel and Oleg (the love of his life and her son): more than one near-death experience for Harry; moral and ethical dilemmas; blackmail and betrayal; and believe it or not, much more.

This is not to say that I don't recommend this book. I still don't think you can go wrong with Jo Nesbo. Let's just say that this was an overly ambitious book that he still managed to pull off.
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