Monday, March 19, 2012



The Devil's star  by the Wonderful JO NESBO - Harry HOLE ( hoola) series

 There is a serial killer on the loose in Oslo, but the murders are not sexually motivated. Harry Hole is the only detective with serial killer expertise in the Norwegian police force,  having brought down a killer in Sydney,in what was the first book of the series. ("Bat" published in Norwegian) With Harry Hole on  a downhill spiral of drinking too much booze and insomnia due to his own mental torture of recurring nightmares, arch enemy Tom Waaler heads up the investigative team, however Hole's boss asks unofficially for Harry's help, even though Harry's services are to be terminated in 3 weeks time, because of his failure to turn up for duty on more than one occasion due to his inebriated state.

In true, Harry style, he pursues this killer unofficially, a puzzling crime by someone who has left a trademark red diamond in the shape of a star on each of his victims. Harry has to find the Question to 'why' and not 'how' or 'who', in order to crack the cryptic code the killer has left. Time is running short and Harry is under pressure to find the killer before the fifth victim dies, but is forced to work alongside Waaler.... can he cope?

Touted as the next Stieg Larson, which is in itself, ironic, as Jo was writing and publishing books many years prior to Larson's Millenium trilogy, the reader can expect a  multitude of plot twists and turns in Nesbo's book, and likewise, should expect to be intrigued when the crime is solved only part way through the book. Therefore, one is not surprized when events suddenly take a different turn, and the reader is then led to believe that all that meets the eye is not real.... Nesbo will give you clues, but highly doubtful that most ordinary readers will pick them up. I certainly didn't.

Loved the Devils' Star even though I hated the title. I look forward to the next instalment of Harry's adventure. I could not fault Harry interpretation of events unofficial investigation; Unlike Camilla Lackberg's series, where the detective often bungles the investigation, to this reader's total frustration!)

The good: Fantasticly woven crime thriller story that keeps you guessing
The bad:   The Title - a bit unimaginative I think.....
The Ugly: the severed fingers and what is under the fingernails...
Rating: 4.5 out of 5, only because I find it difficult to give a 5 out of 5 for anything.

Can't wait to start the Redeemer, next in this series.

A few weeks ago, Jo Nesbo was touring Australia and quite openly admitted to taking some scenes in the Leopard "too far. He "regrets this", he said.  He also mentioned that he has a plan to eventuallly kill/retire the Harry Hole character. He knows how he will do it, but not yet when....

Chronology of Harry Hole series translated to English
1. The Redbreast- reviewed here;postID=7000598131250317883
2. Nemesis 
3.The Devil's star
4. Rhe Redeemer - TBR
5. The Snowman - TBR
6. The Leopard   - TBR
7. The Phantom  - TBR

( the "Bat" is the first book in the Harry Hole series but is only now in translation to English)

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  1. A great review of an excellent series!

    And you are absolutely right about Läckberg. Her series is okay, but not at all in Nesbø´s league.

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment Dorthe. Have you read all of the Harry Hole series?

  3. Most of them. The second (not translated into English) is not easy to come by, and I am a bit behind (two volumes I think, and they are not exactly slim-line...) Though they are a bit violent in places, I have enjoyed them all. He is an excellent writer.

  4. I just checked the Bookmooch site ( a global book swap group) for Kakerlekener, but it seems it is only listed there is Swedish and on a German version's wishlist. It is a wonder that they don't reprint this one, given his current popularity in the wake of the Headhunters movie. It will be interesting to see which one of us gets to the end of the list of Harry Hole books first!