Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phantom by Jo Nesbo

After his last case, the pursuit of the serial killer The Snowman, Harry Hole's life has changed.  He left the police force in Oslo and moved to Hong Kong to pursue a new life and try to escape the demons that pursue his dreams.  But, plans often don't work out as one plans, and Harry's plans are not working out either. 

Harry is drawn back to Oslo when news arrives that Oleg, the closest he will ever have to a son, has been arrested for murder.  The victim?  Oleg's best friend and unfortunately, his partner in crime and addiction, Gusto.  For both young men had become addicted to violin, the synthetic heroin that has overtaken the Oslo drug scene.  They soon turn to selling the drug to support their habits, and now Gusto is dead and Oleg fits the mold as the killer.  But Harry is not able to reconcile the young boy he loved and helped raise with a cold-blooded killer and drug addict. 

Harry is not a policeman anymore, but that hardly seems to matter.  His old friends on the force and in various jobs throughout the city still are willing to help him.  Soon, Harry has peeled away the skin of the setup Oleg has been fitted with, and is deep in the search for the men who have brought violin to Oslo, and those in the government and perhaps the police that have joined with them rather than stopping them.

Fans of the Nesbo series will not be disappointed, and those who are reading the series for the first time will be enthralled.  Harry is definitely not the average policeman, but there is no one better at determining the truth than this deeply flawed man.  The plot becomes increasingly tense as the book progresses, and the reader will find themselves putting the book down periodically just to take a break from the tension.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers who will be thrilled to read of another Harry Hole investigation.

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