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4.5 out of 5 stars82
4.5 out of 5 stars
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2012
This is a three books in one deal - The Redbreast, Nemesis and The Devil's Star. It's cheaper to buy them as a trilogy and since the three should be read for full enjoyment, it makes sense to make the most of the cheaper price. The Redbreast is the weakest of the three, hence the 4-star instead of the full 5 - the other two are very good. The Redbreast tends to drag and it takes a while to get into it. The constant swinging from wartime to current can get confusing and it's easy to lose the thread of the storyline sometimes, but don't despair, it does improve halfway through! Reading it on the Kindle makes it awkward to flick back to check, so sometimes you end up groping in the dark a little! A great read overall with a meaty plot and a good pace.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2011
I am reviewing the books not the price, never occurred to me to buy them separately, which by reading the other review I could have saved money.
Just absolutely love Jo Nesbo, Harry is my hero!
Have enjoyed all the books and also getting to know the characters who develop in each book. Each book is full of twists and turns. All the plots are well thought out and keep you guessing. I have read absolutely loads of crime/thriller books - Jo Nesbo does not disappoint and is definitely in my top 10
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2012
Came across this author by chance, and what a find, if you like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy you will love these
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2013
Reading all three books consecutively is a bit of a marathon but once I got started I was hooked. There are twists and turns that kept me guessing. The end was an anticlimactic but enjoyable nonetheless.
The sub plots kept the pace of the book ticking along and added another dimension. Well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2014
I'm fairly new to Jo Nesbo and, having been extremely impressed with 'The Son', I decided to read through all of the Nesbo books in chronological order. Other reviewers seem to feel that the earlier books; 'The Bat' and 'Cockroaches' were inferior to the later works but I thoroughly enjoyed both, so I looked forward to getting into the next three books set out in 'The Oslo Trilogy'.

I can see why these three books are set as a trilogy as they do, indeed, follow a common thread through them all, with one of the main villains only getting his just rewards at the end of the last book, 'The Devil's Star'.

'The Redbreast' is unlike any other Jo Nesbo that I've read so far in that the story switches, constantly, between modern day Oslo and the Eastern front of 1944, and a very effective device this is too. All of the characters have highly complex and interlocking stories and features and the plot line is as convoluted and complex as any Jeffery Deaver novel. Speaking of other authors, the late James A. Mitchener used a device of 'resonance' in his stories frequently, to echo the same plot line in different time periods. Nesbo does that here too as, in both time periods, there are women, mother and daughter, forced into sexual compromise by powerful bosses. The 'reveal' is excellent as it seems that Harry has, indeed, been hunting a genuinely dead man who is now going around killing people. And if you want to solve that riddle, you'll have to read the book! Some of the niggles that I've had with the other Nesbo books are here too. For example, Harry's love affair with Rakel is a bit far fetched (powerful, strong and 'damaged' woman, sworn off men and highly protective of her only child, falls for the alcoholic, vomit reeking, policeman). And then there's the guns again. As with the earlier books, the choice of weapons, so clinically described in great technical detail, jars in its incongruity. In this novel, the apparent assassin moves heaven and earth to obtain 'the best assassin's rifle in the world' and, indeed, this gun becomes almost like a character in its own right. The problem is that the gun in question is a Marklin rifle, a gun that is very rare because it was obsolete even when it was first created. The Marklin was a victim of history, being a 'falling block' weapon at a time when that mechanism was being replaced by far superior mechanisms. It only accepted a huge 16mm cartridge that is almost impossible to find and is massively expensive (£90 every time you pull the trigger). And finally, why would an assassin use an inferior weapon that is almost certain to get him noticed when there are far better rifles that would allow him to maintain his anonymity? Niggles aside, I found this to be a totally engrossing and well written novel and a great lead into the next in the trilogy.

The second in the trilogy, 'Nemesis' is just as convoluted as the first and is equally good. Once again, there is a genuine surprise in the 'reveal' yet it all makes sense. Yet again, guns play a major part in this story (one of the trilogy threads is about illegal importation of guns into Oslo) and, by now, Jo Nesbo seems to be trying harder to get it right but still falls short. Mr Nesbo seems to think that quoting the exact reference for a weapon makes it authoritative when, in fact, it is usually just confusing. In this case a Beretta M92F is described as a 'highly unusual gun' when, in fact, as the standard issue for many military personnel throughout the world, including every American soldier, it is one of the most commonly seen handguns around. Then, a villainous thug, portrayed as a little on the stupid side, selects, as his weapon of choice, a Taurus PT92C pistol which is an excellent weapon; a stupid thug in backwater Brazil gets a fantastic weapon? An improvement on the weapons front, Mr Nesbo, but a long way to go yet.

The final part of the trilogy, 'The Devil's Star' concludes the threads well and, once again, the 'reveal' is quite spectacular in its complexity and surprise. Unlike the other books, there are a couple of plot devices that stretch credulity to the limit, such as the hiding place for one of the bodies and a few of the other gory facts too, but I can't comment further without a spoiler. And, hurray, Mr Nesbo gets the weaponry just right for the characters!

Having read the first five books now, a few common threads are emerging from Mr Nesbo's work. On the positive side, each book is brilliant in its intricately constructed plot and has a 'reveal' that I defy any reader to foresee. They are all populated with well rounded and plausible characters and the flow of the story is faultlessly well paced. Read as a stand alone novel, each is a compellingly brilliant read. Each story is different. Yet each is the same! In every story:-

The graphic detail of Harry's alcohol addiction is presented again and again.
Harry meets and develops a relationship with an implausibly attractive woman, despite his many flaws.
That woman either dies or is placed in extreme jeopardy (it's not healthy to be Harry Hole's girlfriend!).
Harry has help from an impossibly gifted colleague (master cyber hacker or who can recognise every face ever seen).
The reader is guided to an apparent end when the villain is, apparently, revealed.
Just before the end, it is revealed that the apparent villain isn't the real villain at all and Harry has to battle for justice.
There is a confrontation between Harry and the villain as a result of which the villain is killed.
Harry is promoted by some bureaucratic quirk.

I love these stories but I do hope that the next one, 'The Redeemer' doesn't follow this formulaic process.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2012
Harry Hole the new Blomkvist. An excellent trilogy to rival the Millennium Trilogy. Real emotional involvement plus really good crime mysteries. Read these on the recommendation of a friend of a friend - for once really good advice. I didn't pay way over the odds though - shop around.
Dave P
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on 22 March 2013
I was introduced to the exploits of Inspector Harry Hole through the Oslo Trilogy. I first read out of sequence so I downloaded the whole trilogy in orded to get the feel of the whole. There are individual cases in each book with an underlining mystery which needs to be followed throughout the whole to be appreciated.
The writing is easy to follow and fluent. The story line is strong enough to sustain interest throughout the plot and is realistic enough for belief.
Since reading this series I have gone on to read Snowman,Nemesis and The Leopard, all of which are worthy reads.
I am looking forward to reading The Bat, to see how Harry began his journey and The Phantom to see how it ends, but the price of success is reflected in the cost of these books therefore I must wait alittle longer until they become more affordable.
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on 27 February 2013
I read the three on my new Kindle as my first book to read in this way. The stories are the plot are very good but he just goes into so much detail, you sometimes wish there was a way to skip this and get into the meat and bones. Good threads and twists and turns that said. If you can make your way through you'll enjoy the whole but sometimes I found I had missed the off detail here and there and then something further along didn't make sense so had to back track and re-read. Overall enjoyable though. Not as good as the 'Girl' trilogy but some clever stories.
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on 23 May 2012
Jo Nesbø spins a good plot, full of twists and sudden action. You don't need to be too easily shocked by some extremely gory episodes, though. Nesbø's hero, Harry Hole, is a detective with amazing intuitive powers, but a hopeless alcoholic with rather special social skills - not much between love and hate. I often struggle with translations (eg of Henning Mankell's books) but the translation here by Don Bartlett is first-class, up there with Reg Keeland's of the Larsson Millennium Trilogy. I've gone on to read a few more of Nesbø's books, and enjoyed them all.
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on 8 November 2012
I read the stig Larson trilogy which I thought was fantastic it gripped me and just got better through the 3 books, i would recommend his books as a must read. To say Jo Nesbo is the new Stig Larson is an insult, the Jo Nesbo was so boring and to tell you in the first book who the murderer was is ridiculous and to drag it out for 3 books just to catch the murderer you already new was the murderer is back to front as far as I am concerned. I would not recommend this book and I am a major reader of crime books
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