From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* When Nesbo's Harry Hole novels began appearing in the U.S., the Oslo police detective was well into his spiral of alcoholic self-destruction. With the recent appearance of earlier books in the series (The Redeemer, 2013), fans have been able to catch up on the backstory that put Harry in such a bad way. With the U.S. publication of this series debut, we see still more of the detective's evolution. In Australia as a consulting detective on a murder case in which the victim is a Norwegian native, Harry does what will eventually become his signature: spotting the signs of a serial killer at work and following a convoluted trail with an obsessiveness that puts not only himself but all those around him at risk. Reading this wrenching, emotionally charged tale, which features a fascinating take on the lives of Aboriginals in contemporary Sydney, with full knowledge of what awaits Harry in succeeding, similar cases over the years, we find ourselves wanting to scream, No, Harry, not again! But, in fact, this is the first time he loses himself in the chase, inflicting lasting, self-administered body blows on his fragile psyche, and while the chronological confusion is disconcerting, it adds a layer of dramatic irony to the tale and enhances its tension and power. With the future of the series still up in the air after Phantom (2012), this is an absolute must for devotees of the riveting train wreck that is Harry Hole. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Any Harry Hole novel is big news in the crime-fiction world, and this retrospectively published series debut will thrill its built-in audience.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
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First published in 1997, Nesbo's inaugural Harry Hole novel, finally translated into English, takes the Oslo homicide detective to Sydney, Australia, where he displays all the brilliance and angst that Harry's fans have come to expect, after reading Phantom and other later entries already available in English. Harry, who's helping the Sydney police investigate the murder of pretty 23-year-old Inger Holter, a Norwegian citizen and minor TV celebrity, partners with a bluff, friendly cop of Aboriginal descent, Andrew Kensington. Still haunted by past personal and professional troubles, he begins a new relationship with another Scandinavian expat, Swedish barmaid Birgitta Enquist, while evidence emerges linking Inger's death to a serial killer. Despite some awkward prose, this debut effort shows Nesbo as an already confident genre craftsman, striking sparks from the familiar genre material of Harry's fish-out-of-water experience in a foreign land and odd-couple pairing with a mismatched partner. Niclas Salomonsson, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.