Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Phantom by Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole is back in Oslo, not on the request of the Oslo Crime Squad like last time, but on his own. He is back because Olegg is arrested for the death of his friend and drug user, Gusto. Olegg is Rakel's son, and Rakel, Harry's one and only true love. Olegg is reluctant to meet or speak to Harry, after all, Harry seems to have deserted them after the Snowman debacle.

Part of the story is narrated by the dead Gusto, the thief, which tells the story of the degeneration of an ambitious boy into a junkie- we get to know why junkies are called Junkies. I wonder if it all boil downs to bad blood. The voice of the dead gives details that otherwise would not have been possible. Gusto keeps referring to his absent dad. And the absent Dads figure a huge part in Gusto's and Olegg's life.

The other part of the story is Harry's investigation into Gusto's death. After tackling serial killers in Leopard, Harry's investigation takes him into the drug scene in Oslo in this book. Mikael Bellman, formerly of Kripos, now of Orgkrim is credited with cleaning the streets of Oslo of drugs. But

"You upset a food chain and you don't know if all you've done is make way for something else. "

There is a new synthetic drug called Violin more powerful than other drugs. There is a new supplier and a new distributor for this drug. A Phantom fleeting by controlling the drug scene whom nobody has seen, and nobody knows-known only by the name Dubai. Somebody wants to kill Harry and stop the investigation. Will Harry find out who killed Gusto? What happened to Irene, Gusto's foster sister? Who is Dubai? Who is the burner in the Police? Who is creating the new synthethic drug Violin? Will Harry save Olegg?

There are layers and layers of mystery. You solve one there are a few more to be solved. You cannot complain there are not many clues, on the contrary, way too many clues. Nesbo gives us a catalogue of torture methods- Man on the Moon, Beetle to name a few. There is lots of violence and some macabre. I didn't expect the end. I am enjoying these multi-layered mysteries.

Some quotes:

The art of dealing with ghosts is to dare to look at them long and hard until you know this what they are. Ghosts. Lifeless, powerless ghosts.

'But perhaps that's why we take snaps,' Harry continued. 'To provide false evidence to underpin the false claim that we are happy'

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