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4.3 out of 5 stars
Nemesis: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 2)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2012
Harry Hole - great character - as are the supprting roles - I dont want to say anything too specific relating to the story - I like coming to books totally fresh - but this is a good crime novel. There are several different things going on at once in this book, which I felt was delt with extremely well, not just one especially gripping bit - but a couple.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2012
I purchased a book called the Snowman first and then realised that whilst each is a stand alone story, with good twists and turns, it is far better to read them in the right order, as some things flow thro-out the books(So far). I then ordered all of the Jo Nesbo books on amazon. They are a very good read and look forward to the next one being printed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Book 2 in the Harry Hole series (English version according to Fantasticfiction.uk)

This is the second book in the Oslo trilogy although one wonders if it is the 3rd or 4th book written in the series, actually it all depends where you source your information. The order in which you read them is somewhat irrelevant, they have not been translated in the same order they were originally written. 'Nemesis' is a thrilling, gripping and brilliant thriller, a bit lengthy but well worth the time.

The main plot is fortified with a multitude of sub-plots creating plenty of mystery and intrigue, this one opens with a bank robbery creating instant tension. Cloaked in a balaclava, the armed suspect grabs a teller and demands the bank manager open the safe within 25 seconds or else'.. All hell breaks loose and in all the confusion the suspect escapes from under the nose of the police, leaving them red faced and empty handed.

Investigator Harry Hole of Crime Squad is known for his drinking problem and his knack of rubbing his superiors the wrong way, however it is decided he work the case in collaboration with Robberies Unit. Harry's strong character takes him on a tangent that leaves the other department out in left field. Harry convinces his boss to give him more rope, so he and his partner Beate Lonn, a promising young video analyst, can work their own theory. Beate discovers discrepancies in CCTV footage, this leads to clues that up until now had been overlooked, and this eventually proves to be the game changer.

This clever book has so much going on it would take a book in itself to summarise. There are many twists and turns, dozens of red herrings and a pile of dead bodies. At one point the investigation brings Harry to Brazil, in another instance he looks into a gang of gypsies and still another he delves into the lives of cheating spouses and jealous brothers, this just covers only a few leads he had to follow. There are so many layers, it is a mind game to piece everything together and make sense of it all. I took it as a challenge and went with the flow and enjoyed every tense moment. It all becomes clear at the end.

This book is complicated, immensely rewarding and an enjoyable suspense filled mystery
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 May 2011
In this fast-moving interweaving of two intriguing plots ( Harry Hole's task of tracking down a serial bank robber who has killed a cashier, and finding the killer of his former lover) nothing may be quite what it seems. I like the Norwegian setting - how could I not have known that "Oslo" means "the plain below the ridge"? The often very short scenes, flitting between characters and back and forth in time, with occasional blurring of dreams and reality, make the book very film-like, and in the process slick rather than moving.

So why did I find my attention wandering, so that I missed clues and had to search back for passages in order to understand what is going on? I think it is because of the tendency for fragmented, even staccato, scenes in which important points are often made very briefly, even implied. Presumably, to aid the suspense, you know that Harry has discovered something important and is taking action, but you don't yet know what and why. I also feel that many of the characters are stored in watertight boxes and brought out for brief mention e.g Harry's current lover Rachel with son Oleg, or his previous work partner, the murdered Ellen. Concerns about these could be more of a continual preoccupation in Harry's mind, so that you, the reader, also begin to relate to them and care about them more.

My main reservations are as follows. I often found many of the more important characters somewhat unconvincing e.g. the gypsy crime boss Raskol and his "niece" Anna. The dialogues of a very diverse range of people often seem too similar, probably the way Nesbo would speak himself. Some of the plot twists are just too implausible for me, not least the ingenious denouement which I clearly cannot give away.

Of course, Nesbo has sold so many millions that he does not need to bother to edit more carefully to improve the depth and flow of the novel. Also, some stilted or even unclear sentences made me wonder how much the book has suffered in translation.

I agree that it would be helpful to make the sequence of stories clearer. The first three available in English are: The Redbreast, Nemesis, The Devil's Star. I believe the next three which I have yet to read are: The Redeemer, The Snowman and The Leopard.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2008
Just finishes this book. Excellent read, it kept me on edge as Nesbo's hero - Harry Hole - solves two Oslo crimes, one a bank robbery in which a female is killed, the other the apparent suicide of an old girl friend.

Kept me on my toes to the very last chapter.

There were some inconsistencies with the plot which I only resolved when I found out that 'Nemesis' actually comes between the other two Harry books - 'The Redbreast' and ' The Devil's Star'.

I'll now have to re-read 'The Devil's Star' to sort out Harry Hole's continuing investigation of the murder of his colleague Ellen Gjelten in the earlier book.

My advice? Try the read the books in chronological order.

I do hope that the publishers release Jo Nesbo's next two Harry Hole books in the right order!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
(4.5 stars) More like a fiendish sudoku puzzle than a traditional police procedural, this blockbuster novel, set in Oslo, challenges alcoholic Inspector Harry Hole to find solutions to four cold-blooded murders, which may or may not be related. A "square peg" in the police department, Hole does not hesitate to do things his own way, often infuriating his peers while still inspiring (sometimes grudging) respect for his honesty. A bank robbery in which a gunman executes his female hostage because the bank manager exceeds twenty-five seconds to fill a bag with money is just the start of the non-stop action. As Harry Hole investigates the similarities between this robbery and stunning earlier robberies by Raskol Baxhet, a gypsy now incarcerated, the reader is jerked every which-way, his/her perceptions constantly changed as new information emerges about the characters and the past.

When the video of the bank robbery/murder becomes available, Beate Lonn begins working the case with Harry. Beate is one of only ten people in the world who can remember every face she has ever seen, and Harry becomes her mentor. Both Harry and Beate are grieving--he for the loss of Ellen Gjelten, his partner and friend, murdered while investigating arms-trafficking, and Beate for the loss of her father, a police officer also murdered. Questions remain about both murders. When Harry, one night, accepts an invitation from a former lover, "for old times' sake," he becomes involved in yet another case--his own. When he awakens the next morning he has absolutely no memory of what happened, and he worries that he may have committed a murder.

As Harry and his rivals within the police department work to solve the most recent murders, the author considers the psychology of the characters as much their actions, often switching points of view between paragraphs and scenes. The meticulously constructed plot moves at breakneck pace, and as Nesbo draws in new characters, each of whom has a past to be investigated, he juggles bits and pieces of information--and surprises--which change the direction and focus. The cases become more intertwined and more complex, and "Case Solved" proves time and again to be an illusion. The action moves from Oslo to Brazil and back, from mainstream neighborhoods to gypsy caravans and the Oslo jail, from the police department to the lonely citizens they serve, and from Harry to his long-time love, who is in Russia suing for custody of her son.

The reader's interest grows in Harry Hole, Beate Lonn, and several other characters, and Harry's relationship with jailed Raskol Baxhet, the gypsy robber, is particularly interesting, as he and Baxhet, a master manipulator, alternately despise and respect each other. Ultimately, the reader agrees that "A good manipulator can make you believe that the edge of a 100-kroner note is the edge of a knife." Author Nesbo proves to be a greatest manipulator of all. n Mary Whipple

The Redbreast
The Devil's Star
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2014
A couple of years ago I read Redbreast by this author, so it was a real pleasure to re-enter the world of Norwegian detective Harry Hole. Nesbo is a fine writer and in this story demonstrates his capacity to craft an excellent tale of high tension. The opening sequences of the novel transport the reader to a robbery taking place within an Oslo bank. During the robbery, a masked gunman threatens a cashier and eventually executes her on the spot. From there on the pace never really let's up. Nesbo has this rare skill of being able to take the reader on a journey where nothing is quite as it seems. Just as you think you have an inkling of where the story is going, he pulls the rug from under you by revealing yet another unexpected plot twist.
If I had to pass on any advice for potential readers of this book it would be to read it in large chunks. For me, it was not the kind of novel to dip in and out of. There are quite a number of characters in Nemesis and many plot-lines to absorb. So try and allow yourself plenty of uninterrupted quality time with this fine novel and you will be rewarded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 September 2011
Harry Hole is back to investigate a violent armed robbery but this is just the start of his problems. Worse is to come when he wakes up after a night out with an old flame with memory loss and his ex is found dead in her apartment. Throw into the mix a legendary bank robber and Albanian mafia leader, and the insidious Tom Waaler and you have a fast paced thriller that you cannot stop reading.

The action is compulsive and when you get half-way through the book and everything seems to have fallen into place the next plot twist takes you on the roller-coaster to the finale. That is my only fault with the book. This twist depends on a few too many coincidences between the two cases that weave them together - it is a small world but not that small. But this is only a minor gripe in what was a captivating read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2011
After finishing the trilogy by Stieg Larsson (highly recommended) I looked around for similar authors and came across Jones Bo (as I call him). Bit difficult at first due to fractured way of chopping chapters into sub-chapters, but stick with it and it grows on you. Characters are left somewhat to your own imagination as author does not flesh them out too much, but this may be due to my sampling author halfway through series. I got the feeling that the author noticed his inconsistencies and invented explanations which sometimes work, sometimes don't, but he does capture what police life is like (i'm ex-police). Definately now want to read all of Jones Bo's other books.
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This is an excellent crime thriller from Jo Nesbo, following on from the first UK publication, 'The Redbreast'.

Inspector Harry Hole is an alluring character, flawed by alcohol and oppressed by police bureaucracy both of which he manages to sublimely overcome by getting results - in both cases at some cost to his well-being.

This is a 700 page novel and barely a page is wasted on stuff we don't really need to know. Even travelling to the outskirts of Sao Paulo seems to fit into the scheme of things. Harry's main problem - the murder of his more than very good friend, Ellen is sidelined as he strives to solve the murder - or could it really be suicide - of another more than very good friend Anna. Couple to this to the struggle in Moscow of another more than good friend, Rakel for custody of her son, Oleg rather suggests that Harry is well into danger zone territory. Even more so when a new little helper is assigned to his small team of one, Beate Lonn might be forgiven if she thought she was working on dangerous ground.

Well, she is and it works a treat because, as if the afore-mentioned circumstances were not enough, there is the minor matter of a bank robber who likes to kill his hostage, careful enough not leave a single clue as to his identity. Beate cuts through the gloom and starts them off on a hunt which rattles along, criss-crossing with a growing number of bodies the personal hunt for Anna's killer, the more intriguing because Harry is not the only one who believes he may have been involved.

The only niggle and hence four stars (I would give 4.5 but can't) is that nobody picked up on an email signature from the supposed killer. Not only was this sticking out like a sore thumb and nobody noticed but it was rather easy to decode. Harry should have noticed the title of the book, for starters but, obviously he couldn't and I did. Even so, where does vengeance become revenge? Dunno, don't really care but it does make for a really good thriller.

I just hope 'The Devil's Star' lives up to expectations.
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