A Harry Hole Novel (13)
In the thirteenth novel in the New York Times bestselling series, brilliant rogue police investigator Harry Hole is back, this time as an outsider assembling his own team to help find a serial killer.
“Jo Nesbo is one of today’s most interesting thriller writers, and Harry Hole is an all-time great character.” —Lee Child
Harry has gone to Los Angeles to drink himself to death, in the wake of his life back in Oslo falling to pieces. He’s nearly managed to, but then Harry decides to help an older film actress, Lucille, free herself from the grip of a drug cartel she owes a million dollars. In return she gives him shelter, company and a tailored suit.
In Oslo, two girls have disappeared and been found murdered. One of the suspects is a well-known real estate magnate, and investigator Katrine Bratt wants to bring in the country’s foremost serial killings expert. But the idea of collaborating with Harry Hole is out of the question for the chief of police. The real-estate magnate under suspicion, on the other hand, wants to hire Harry as a private investigator to clear his name. Harry declines, but that’s before the drug cartel takes Lucille hostage. If Harry clears the real estate magnate, he will award Harry a bonus big enough to cover Lucille’s debt. So Harry puts together his own kind of investigative team, consisting of a cocaine-dealing childhood friend, a corrupt police officer and a cancer-stricken psychologist. The drug cartel has given them ten days. The clock is ticking, and a blood moon has been forecast over Oslo.
Nesbø's 13th Harry Hole novel (after 2019's Knife) covers familiar terrain in a too familiar way. Norwegian sleuth Hole has left the Oslo police after a tragedy and relocated, broke and despondent, to sunny California. At the start, Hole saves Lucille, an aging actor, from a powerful family's attempts to collect the almost $1 million she owes them. It's a temporary fix, but fortunately, a contrivance gives him a chance to help her pay her debts: Hole's former colleagues are probing the murder of Susanne Anderson, a 26-year-old found dead in an Oslo forest. Suspicion focuses on Markus Røed, a real estate mogul, who'd slept with Anderson. Røed decides to hire his own investigator for PR purposes and contacts Hole, who agrees to investigate if he pays Lucille's $1 million debt. The killer's unusually gruesome method is the book's only novelty—otherwise, Nesbø hits all the typical beats of a serial killer thriller, including a lead who seeks redemption through his work, sections presented from the perspective of the murderer, and the imperiling of a significant character. This is a shadow of the author's best work.