Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

After Detective Inspector Harry Hole's quick action and training lead him to an action that embarrasses the government, he is kicked upstairs and given routine tasks.  The Oslo police may think that they have quieted Harry and his penchant for discovering crimes that others miss, following them to whatever conclusion he finds, but that's not how Harry rolls. 

Harry is shunted into a surveillance of old Nazis, those men who years before fought with the Germans during World War II.  For a while, it was seen as the patriotic thing to do, although these same men were considered traitors after the war.  Now, Oslo is seeing a disturbing rise of Neo-Nazis, and who better to get the scoop on these old men who seem to be inspiring younger men to use violence against the immigrants who have come to Norway to start a new life.

Harry soon discovers a secret that is taking the lives of these few old men left from that earlier time.  He discovers that a high-powered rifle useful mainly for assassinations has been illegally imported and reports his findings to his superiors, who ignore his concerns. The former Nazis and their family members start to show up murdered.  Can Harry unravel the mystery of what happened all those years ago before someone else is killed?

This is one of the earliest Harry Hole mysteries and fans of the series will enjoy learning Harry's back story.  This is when he meets the love of his life, Rakel, and starts his partnership with Halvorsen.  We learn about Harry's life as a boy and the sister he loves dearly.  Jo Nesbo is definitely one of the premier suspense writers of the current mystery scene, and The Redbreast shows the seeds of how his books will emerge as the series continues.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

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