Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nemesis - Jo Nesbo

For all of you purists out there (like me) who must read their beloved series in order, you will be astounded to learn that (gasp) I read this Harry Hole installment OUT OF ORDER!!!  It went against every thread of my literary soul to jump back an episode after reading "The Devil's Star" but I'm in this Nesbo thing for the long haul and I couldn't let it go unloved.  Good thing too, 'cause he rocked my world.  Again.

Synopsis:  In addition to being assigned a special detail intended to solve the murder of a policewoman and his best friend, Harry Hole also picks up a string of bank robberies, one of which resulted in a cold-blooded murder.  At the same time, Harry monkeys around with an old lover while his girlfriend is away, and the lover is found dead from a presumed self-inflicted wound.  Trouble always seems to nip at Harry's heels.

Also typical for Mr. Hole is a rabbit warren of leads, dozens of red herrings, and a pile of dead bodies, all of which take him to Brazil, into a gang of gypsies, into the lives of cheating spouses and jealous brothers, and into smarmy and vindictive office politics.  He also teams up with uber forensics specialist Beatte, who could possibly be an emotional replacement for Harry's dead partner.

With wry humor and clumsy panache (something Hole seems to lose as time goes by) the multiple layers and multiple crimes are exposed and solved.  But not without a piece of Harry being lost forever.

My thoughts:  Nesbo is really starting to have his moment.  While "The Redbreast" was fulfilling as a mystery thriller, it was dense.  With "Nemesis" however, you can almost physically ride his wave of endorphins that pump up some of his scenes here.  You can FEEL him on a roll, and as a reader, you hang onto his rope and get drug along with him.  So much fun.

I was delighted with the Harry presented in this installment, knowing that in "The Devil's Star" he is in dark, murky emotional sludge.  At this point in time, Harry lets out a little bit of his inner wiseacre, he has a shred of self-confidence, and has hope for the future.  He is still believing he can fight and win against his demons, including the bottle.  God bless him. 

Here is another thing that, after having read three of Nesbo's books, I can tell you that you must know.  There is a 99% chance you are not going to figure this stuff out.  We've got so many layers.  So many bad men and women, running around with different agendas, but all intersecting.  You (and Harry) think one murder is solved.  But no, psyche!  You both were wrong and you must keep looking, keep asking questions.  It is maddening!  In a good way of course.

Although I know Harry has found love with Rakel, and that is lovely, what I'm really enjoying is his friendship with Beatte.  Beatte to me is a fascinating character, who may have a tiny bit of Lisbeth Salander in her, but maybe a little less angsty.  She is smart, she has special talents, she is quiet and anti-social, and she understands Harry. I have high hopes for her in future installments. 

Speaking of which, I am on a long wait list for The Snowman on audio.  I have yet to listen to a Harry Hole novel on audio.  Stay tuned...

4.5 out of 5 stars                

16 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

"I read this Harry Hole installment OUT OF ORDER!!!"
I couldn't do it. I started with The Snowman and felt I was missing out so I'm waiting until the first in the series are translated before continuing. Glad to hear you are enjoying them though. Hopefully my patence will be rewarded.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Ah, I keep reading fabulous things about Jo Nesbo but haven';t actually gotten there myself. Glad you enjoyed this!

caite said...

since I read the latest nesbo first, who am I to talk. And I rather wish I had not because I think a lack of background, especailly about our 'hero', made me not like the book as much as I might have.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This is the only one I haven't read! But it's sitting on my coffee table, waiting for a special moment... (I'm actually trying to hold off for 3 weeks, when we have another long plane ride ahead)(not because we are going anywhere far, but because everywhere is a long plane ride from Tucson!)

Kathleen said...

I love a good whodunnit that can confuse me and make me think I've got it all figured out when I haven't. This sounds like a fun ride!

Zibilee said...

The more I read about Harry Hole, the more intrigued I get. It sounds like these books are very good reads, and like they are very complex, which is always good in this genre. I also like that the mysteries are impossible to figure out, and think that part of the reason I have so much trouble with this genre is that my mind is always moving while I am reading, and it's rare for something to surprise me. I feel like these books aren't like that.

reviewsbylola said...

I have wanted to read Jo Nesbo for a few months but it just hasn't happened. With every review I read though, I realize I need to get my butt in gear and get his books!

Jenny said...

I started a series recently with the 13th (and most recent) book and it was very difficult to do so. Now I feel like I MUST read the first twelve in order before the 14th comes out, LOL!

bermudaonion said...

You're making me mad that I won't be able to get to the one Nesbo book I have for a while.

Marce said...

I really want to read him and have chose Snowman to be the one to try but all the reviews of all his books are so great, decisions......

Melody said...

I tend to read books out of order, but it's all unintentionally since I didn't know they're part of the series and then I just have to get the previous installments!!

The Snowman is the first book I bought and at that time I didn't know it's part of the series; and fortunately I haven't read it. And now, I've got all of Jo Nesbo's books... I'm just waiting for the right moment to devour The Redbreast!

Julie P. said...

I've only read one of these books and I absolutely adored it. I have another one in my basement waiting for the right time! I've given up my quest to read everything in order. It still drives me a little crazy, but I'm working on it.

Ti said...

Jo would not be happy with me. I was in the middle of Redbreast and put it down....for Murakami! I am a traitor! A harlot of a reader. It's okay, I will wear the Scarlet letter.

Both Redbreast and Nemesis were on my summer reading list but I got sucked into the Haruki vortex.

Jenners said...

Thanks in part to you and others (cough Jill cough) I'm starting Nesbo … with The Redbreast. I shall be back to read your reviews when I get to this one!

Gavin said...

Hee hee. As soon as Mr G finishes it I get to read The Snowman. Can't wait!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am so, so, SO BEHIND with the Jo Nesbo thing. I totally need to start reading his work!!