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Jo Nesb is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel featuring Harry Hole was published in Norway in 1997 and was an instant hit, winning the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel (an accolade shared with Peter H eg, Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum). The Redeemer is the fourth of Nesb 's novels to be translated into English.
The first chapter of Nesbo's highly suspenseful sixth Harry Hole thriller introduces 17-year-old Robert Karlsen and his year older brother, Jon, who in 1991 are cadets at a Salvation Army retreat in the Norwegian countryside, where a 14-year-old girl is sexually assaulted. In the next chapter, 22 years later, detective Hole is winding up the investigation of a drug-related murder in Oslo. The main action begins when a Serbian hit man, Cristo Stankic, shoots Robert on a crowded city street, though his intended target was Jon-and that's when the pace really picks up. As the title suggests, the search for redemption is on-redemption through violence. The deeply flawed Hole is his familiar self: difficult and disrespectful, brilliant and intuitive. At times the book feels padded with lengthy asides and banter, but the primary narrative, told in powerful prose, never fails to grip. Series fans should note that later entries have already appeared in the U.S., most recently Phantom (2012). Announced first printing of 150,000. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Do not expect this book to continue the story line from Nesbo's 2012 best seller, The Phantom (ninth in the Harry Hole series.) Fans will have to wait longer to discover the fate of Harry after his shocking encounter with a murder suspect. Instead, this story, published three years and as many books earlier (2009) involves the murder of a young Salvation Army employee shot at point-blank range during a Christmas season street performance. Bad weather grounds the gunman in Oslo and gives him time to realize, after reading news reports, that he has killed the wrong man. Excellent plotting, lots of twists, deception, and a comprehensible villain contribute to the rapid pacing as the iconic Nordic detective and his colleagues race to find and stop the assassin before he kills again. This could almost be considered a police procedural except that Hole rarely follows procedure even when commanded to do so by his new supervisor. VERDICT Recommended for the many fans of Nesbo as well as for readers who appreciate maverick, intuitive detectives who fight the system almost as often as they fight crime.-Deb West, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.