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Friday, June 24, 2011

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

I've been reading Nesbo's Harry Hole series, set in Oslo, Norway.  I went back and picked up Nemesis, even though I thought I'd skip it since I'd already read The Devil's Star

I'm glad I did, even if it was out of order.  (The English translations were published out of order.  The correct sequence is The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star, The Redeemer, The Snow Man, Headhunters (not yet translated), The Leopard.)

When a bank teller is murdered during a robbery, the only clue to the murderer's identity is a video tape that reveals little.  The robber had set a time limit.  She was 6 seconds too slow.

Harry Hole examines the video over and over trying to find something, anything, that might lead them to the killer.  Finally, he and Beate Lonn begin to make some assumptions that may develop into leads.

In the meantime, Harry accepts an invitation from an old flame (his significant other, Rakel, is in Russia).  When Harry awakes in his own bed the next morning, he remembers nothing other than arriving at Anna's.  He is an alcoholic that has fallen off the wagon; blank spaces after excessive drinking are not unfamiliar to Harry.

On arriving at work, he discovers that Anna has committed suicide.  No one knows that Harry was there or that Harry even knew Anna.  Harry has difficulty believing Anna would have killed herself.

When he begins receiving threatening emails, he realizes that he is being set-up for Anna's murder.  The sender seems to be playing a game with Harry, giving some hints and possibilities, but always threatening.  Now, Harry must work on both cases, the murder/robbery and Anna's supposed suicide.

Jo Nesbo skillfully intertwines the two plot lines that may have an important intersection.  A complex psychological narrative, Nemesis is an engrossing read.  I am definitely hooked on this series!

Next in line:  The Redeemer.  Then I can finally get to The Snow Man.

Fiction.  Mystery/Crime.  2009.  480 pages.


  1. Definitely need to begin this series as so many are big fans. I may start with THE SNOWMAN though, in keeping with my new vow to "read-out-of-order". LOL

  2. Kay -- I was trying to read this in order, and it didn't work!

    Some books are actually better read out of order. My favorite mystery writer is Reginald Hill, and if I'd started with the very first one, I might not have learned to love the series. I started in the middle of the series and went back and picked up others. :)

  3. I'm not going to touch Nesbo any day soon again as I did so not like The Snow Man. I'll be curious to see whether you will like it.

  4. Caroline - Uh oh. I've liked the books so far, but think I'm going to give the series a little rest. Did you review The Snow Man?

  5. No I didn't, I read it before I started blogging but I mentioned it in my blog post best and worst books of 2010 and it wasn't among the best.
    I thought it was too far fetched not believable from a psychological point of view.

  6. Caroline - although I think some of the characters are believable, I haven't found all of them quite believable. So far, it hasn't bothered me too much, but I think I've kind of overdosed on Nesbo and Scandinavian crime!