Monday, 20 August 2012

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

Two women found brutally murdered in a horrible way prompt the Oslo crime squad to re- recruit Harry Hole, the serial killer expert, who is in a hole in Hong Kong. Hole reluctantly(?) comes back to escape his debts with the Triad in Hong Kong. When a third woman is murdered, Harry Hole starts his investigation. The women murdered and the methods used to kill are very different. What is the connection between these women? What is this horrible method used to kill two of these women? Is this the case of a psychopathic serial killer or the women murdered for a different reason?

An edge of the seat thriller full of gore and blood reminiscent of the Saw movies. There are nice twists and I like the trick Nesbo plays on us. He makes us feel smug at spotting the killer yet provides with enough surprises to feel satisfied. The action takes place all over the world from Hong Kong to Oslo to Africa. There is the side story of politics between Kripos and Oslo Police Crime squad, something like the FBI and local police. Who will Harry be loyal to Kripos or Oslo Police? Who is the mole in Oslo crime squad?

At 740 pages it is a bit too long, maybe lacking in pace here and there, but with enough twists and turns to keep one glued to the book. Now I go hunting for his other books.

The Leopard published in Norwegian in 2009 is the eighth novel featuring detective Harry Hole and translated into English by Don Bartlett. I haven't read any Scandinavian crime fiction before. I have lined up books of Sjöwall-Wahlöö, Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson to read next.

My post for Crime Fiction Alphabet N and European Reading Challenge.


Anonymous said...

Sri - I really like the Harry Hole character and you're quite right that Nesbø is very good at adding in lots of good twists and turns. I felt this one was a bit too long myself, but I think I'm willing to forgive Nesbø just because I like the characters :-)

Anonymous said...

I do like a book with a good plot twist and Harry Hole, while not the greatest name for a detective, sounds like an interesting character. For some reason, I like the reluctant detective (in fact that is a great name for a novel).

Scott said...

Interesting name for a character. :)

Peggy Ann said...

I read The Snowman and it was very good. I liked the Harry Hole character.

Katrina said...

I've been meaning to read something by Nesbo for ages now, I'm wondering if I might find them bit too gory though. I'll have to find out.

TracyK said...

I have read one Harry Hole, The Redbreast, and enjoyed it and want to continue on with the series. The Leopard is later in the series, so it will be a while before I get there. 740 pages is a bit daunting. But I am looking forward to it.