Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Review - The Redeemer Jo Nesbø

# 4 in the Harry Hole Series, The Little Redeemer is the continuing story of unconventional Detective Inspector Harry Hole of the Norwegian Crime squad.  His skill for solving confusing and impossible cases, and his penchant for alcohol do not endear him to many sections of Oslo mainstream police, but no one can argue he gets results. But where does Harry draw the line? Will he still be able to distinguish between the perpetrator, the instigator, the implementer and the accessory? Can he turn a blind eye to retribution, when a close colleague dies? Will he fall prey to corruption or the hounds of alcohol? The Redeemer touches on these issues in Harry's life.

This story revolves around the Salvation Army and its pastoral community care work, this book begins in the Bosnian war with a story of Croatian soldiers. Quickly moving to a dark and freezing pre-xmas Oslo, Harry is appointed head of the team to investigate a puzzling murder, that has no motive, no murder weapon and no witnesses. In short, almost perfect, and no leads. Is it the work of a professional hitman, and if so, why does he not leave and move on to the next job and anonymity?

If you have read the Harry Hole series in order, you will by now be accustomed to Harry's unorthodox life and ways. He endears himself to the reader, even though at times one becomes frustrated by his actions.

In the novel his old friend sums up a philosophical viewpoint on crime and society in the following paragraph:

"Its chances and nuances that separate the hero from the villain. that's how it's always been. Righteousness is the virtue of the lazy and the visionless. Without lawbreakers and disobedience we would still have been living in a feudal society. "

By now I am a true Harry fan, being sucked in to the expected twists and turns the plot takes. Try as I might, I did not pick up on the clues Nesbø gave us, in Redeemer, but I did manage to score some points along the way. I think this is what is so attractive about these Nesbø plots, they keep you guessing up to the last chapter, at times to the last few pages. Even if you are in the killer's head, there are always surprises that are completely unexpected. And that is what we as readers want, isn't it?

Harry talks a little in this novel about the perfect crime, stating that the "plan was like a circle of logic that worked, the illusion of the  ( Viking motif ) snake eating itself, a self destructing creation that would guarantee nothing would be left afterwards, no loose threads." But is it truly perfect, or will the plan go horribly wrong......

If you don't read it it will only be something to ponder about.....

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