Devotees to Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, and others that have gripped us to follow them avidly, get pretty fond of the main characters. Take Rakel, for instance. Harry’s saving grace, I would have said, and Harry needs all the grace he can get, between drinks. So, maybe nobody is surprised when she leaves him. But hey! He’s going to win her back, right?
No, he doesn’t. Mr Nesbo doesn’t grant us that simple little bit of feel-good; us, his faithful followers. No. He actually does far worse than that, but I’ll leave what that is to the unsuspecting readers who manage to avoid the spoilers.
Harry just carries right on being a drunk jerk, playing straight into the hands of the first serial killer that Harry put away, so that Harry is set up with all the evidence needed to put him behind bars for brutal bloody murder. And he was too pissed to remember whether he is innocent or not.
Too many side tracks, Mr Nesbo. Too many irrelevant back-stories regarding inconsequential people while you kill us with suspense regarding Harry, our to-be ex-hero, until the last 150 pages where you regain at least some of your brilliant reputation and the brittle Harry starts to get his act together.
Not my favourite, I’m afraid. But thank you to Penguin Random House, South Africa for the ARC, anyway.