The one with the missing Harry

Jo Nesbo, Police (2013)

I checked my own blog archives and I can’t believe it took me eight years to go back to a Jo Nesbo thriller. Eight years!

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the one I read nearly a decade (!) ago. My memory is hazy but I recall a very efficient plot, some twisted characters and a lot of blood. And that’s also true that the early days of motherhood are not really those where you naturally spend your limited free time reading about serial killers, gruesome murders explained in graphic details and various perversions assumed and/or proven in a vast array of suspects.

At least, this book spares us the child murders or the paedophile (how I despise this trend of the mystery genre that rather easily exploits our most contemporary fears). But that’s probably the only thing that Nesbo spares us.

As for the rest, Nesbo doesn’t disappoint the image I had of his books. I was in for a swift and efficient ride through Oslo streets. The twist on this particular thriller is that the victims are actually police officers, killed on the anniversary of an old case they never managed to solve.

And the second twist is that for a Harry Hole book, the star is very blatantly absent. For about a third of the book, I wondered if he was dead, retired, dismissed, or even worse. Because I hardly ever read a book series in order, I couldn’t really know how much I’d missed, and that was a bit troubling. The upside is that Nesbo took care to flesh out secondary characters in the investigation team, and since the police force was targeted, it really made me sit on the edge of my seat.

Scandinavian thrillers aren’t usually my cup of tea, but it’s nice to return to a writer you enjoyed years ago and to find him still at the top of his game!

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