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Norwegian crime fiction writer Nesbo (The Snowman; The Leopard) is one of the best. His ninth series entry sees Harry Hole, now an ex-police officer, return to Oslo from Hong Kong to investigate drug dealer Gusto's murder. Oleg, a young man to whom Hole was once a father figure, has confessed, but Hole knows it can't be true. In a parallel narration, the dead Gusto tells what led to his murder, a literary device that enhances the novel and fills in details. Oslo's gritty and violent drug world is brought to life through the characters. The fast-paced plots are twisted and riveting, and the two stories collide to reveal a shocking climax. Nesbo is on par with the original Scandinavian duo Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, authors of the Martin Beck series. VERDICT If you are a series follower, you won't want to miss this! But if you are a newcomer, read the earlier ones first to gain an understanding of Hole. This is not for the squeamish! [See Prepub Alert, 4/16/12.]-Frances Thorsen, Chronicles of Crime Bookshop, Victoria, BC (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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In Nesbo's deeply moving seventh Harry Hole novel to be published in the U.S. (after 2011's The Leopard), Harry returns to Oslo from Hong Kong to help his estranged 18-year-old son, Oleg, who has fallen in with a group of drug users and is now accused of fatally shooting another teenager, Gusto Hanssen. Both Gusto and Oleg were pushing a new street drug in Oslo, a synthetic heroin known as violin, for a mysterious man known only as Dubai. Operating both under the radar and with the covert help of his remaining friends on the force, Harry delves into the world of drugs in Norway, from corner selling to an importation scheme that involves airline pilots. Harry uncovers a web of corruption that ensnares the very police force he abandoned three years earlier. This is Harry's most personal case, and yet Nesbo never allows Harry's paternal feelings for Oleg cloud his need for truth, however costly that pursuit may be. Agent: Salomonsson Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* In the Booklist review of Nesbo's The Leopard (2011), we called Oslo police detective Harry Hole a good man undone by a bad world and a too-sensitive soul. How right we were except, perhaps, that we neglected to say that his undoing also has a lot to do with his inability (and unwillingness) to escape his past. This time Harry, no longer a cop, returns to Oslo from his new home in Hong Kong, once again summoned by trouble in the family. In The Leopard, it was his father; now it's Oleg, the son of Rakel, the love of Harry's life. Ironically, Rakel left Harry to protect her son from the horrors of Harry's world, and now those same horrors have found the boy, even in Harry's absence. First it was drugs, in the form of violin, a new wonder drug that protects the user from a deadly ovedose but is far more addictive than heroin; now Oleg is in jail, accused of killing a fellow addict. The evidence looks rock solid, but Rakel knows that if anyone can prove her boy is not a killer, it's Harry. Nesbo begins with this emotionally gripping family drama but surrounds it with an elaborate, beautifully constructed plot involving the new drug and the ruthless man who rules its distribution. The subplots, plot twists (especially the last one), and the fully fleshed supporting characters many of whom could drive their own novels are all testament to Nesbo's remarkable talent, but finally, it all comes back to Harry and the pain he endures in trying to carve out a separate peace from a world and a past that won't let him go. Superb on every level. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: All those Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson fans have jumped on the Nesbo bandwagon. A far-reaching publicity campaign and a 150,000 first printing will make sure they stay there.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist