Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #32 The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

The noir Phillip Marlowes all seem to have flown away to Europe in recent years.  Most of the old style detective stories are now being written in Sweden (by Kjeld Eriksson) and Norway (by Jo Nesbo).  I even think that the Lizbeth Salander trilogy borrowed heavily from the detective noir genre, which used to be an American export.  Not that I’m complaining; I’m glad to see its resurrection.  Even murder mystery novel could benefit from a Humphrey Bogart character.

The Redbreast’s Marlowe is Detective Harry Hole  Like all noir detectives before him, Hole suffers from a vice.  Nesbo went with the old stand-by of alcoholism, which plagues so many literary detectives.  He had previous appearances in Nesbo’s first two books, but I have not found their English translations.  The book does mention some of his early adventures, but it’s possible to read this one without reading the other two first.

The book starts out with Hole’s bumbling of an important political event, which gets him promoted from the police force to a Department of Homeland Security-like position, in order to avoid a scandal.  Hole pieces together small tidbits of intelligence over the months that he’s there to reveal an issue of national security involving former Norwegian soldiers who fought on the German side on the Eastern Front during WWII.  At times the story gets a bit unbelievable, but the fast pace and interesting characters make up for it.

The story ends without resolving a subplot, which is a bit of a letdown.  Hopefully it will be resolved in the next novel as the characters involved in that subplot were very dull.  I really hope he was not trying to make a Moriarty for Hole as this Moriarty is a bit, well, dim.

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One thought on “Quorren’s #CBR4 Review #32 The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

  1. As far as I’m aware, the first two books about Harry Hole, The Bat and The Cockroaches are not available in English translation yet, and have no official publication dates on Jo Nesbo’s international website. The same is the case with the 6th book in the series, The Redeemer. They generally work quite well as stand alone reads, though, I read the series completely out of order, depending on when I could get the books from the local library.

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