3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Far below average for Nesbo,
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This review is from: Phantom: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 7) (Kindle Edition)
Not much to say that others haven't said, but I am so amazed by the very high rating this book gets from most people that I feel this is worth doing just to balance up the score a bit.
I have enjoyed all the other Harry Hole books. For me, they are not as good as Wallander because I find them less believable, but generally Nesbo writes a good yarn. I approached this very much expecting to like it. I suspect most other people did too, and rated it accordingly, but for me it was very disappointing: it gave the impression that it was written by an author who couldn't really be bothered with it.
There's often quite a lot of back story in some of these books, but a huge amount of this book (I read it on kindle so not sure how many pages, it felt like about a third of the book) consisted of a sort of spoken letter from a dying drug dealer to his unknown father. Frankly I thought a few percent of what we got would have done for the story, and the rest wasn't interesting enough to merit the length. In fact, I nearly gave up, but then about 40% of the way into the book we seemed to get back to Harry so I carried on. It dipped back into the letter from time to time though, at which points my heart sank.
As someone else has said I thought the ending was pretty unbelievable for a maverick detective. I've generally found Harry's ability to solve serial murders while maintaining his alcoholism and a pretty active smoking habit a little bit hard to take, but in this book (look away here if you don't want to read something about the plot) it becomes almost a farce: after sewing his own badly cut neck with a needle and thread (not once but twice as he cuts the thread too short the first time) and then retaining the last few pints of blood that he has by taping up the wound with gaffer tape he is able jump through a (closed) window, fall 3 stories into a skip, jump out and run away, get a few hours sleep and then make love to Rakel in his usual sex-god manner.
If you chop out the endless chapters of Gusto's letter the bits with Harry in are good enough fun, but I suspect Batman is an equally realistic solver of crimes.