Excellent book. Another excellent Scandinavian book. More colourful than a lot of these dour Scandinavian things, too: engaging, likeable Harry Hole is a step above Rebus, a step above Rebus. In the alcoholic stakes, he's probably only trumped by Robicheaux and then only just. He's a mess of a man who only survives in his job thanks to a boss who recognises his talent for what it is, and makes a pleasing change to all the antagonistic authority figures you normally see in novels like this.
Oslo makes for a good and unusual setting to the story, and Nesbo renders it atmospheriocally. The plot is clever, absolutely gripping, very well structured, and Nesbo handles everything very well indeed. Part of what makes this novel great is that this is never really the book, plotwise, that you think it is. It begins with a disappearance, morphs into an interesting serial killer novel, and over 100 pages from the end, when Hole aprehends the killer, it morphs into something quite different. Just when you think the book is winding down and surely can't have far to go, it kicks right off into a tense thriller. There's enough plot here for two good books, but Nesbo condenses it excellently into one. Yet again I look forward to reading even more from this new foreign writer.