I made a huge mistake . . .,
This review is from: The Devil's Star: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 3) (Paperback)
I was going on a skiing holiday, and although i already had two books on the go, (Elenaor Catton's the Luminaries and Peter F. Hamilton's the Reality Dysfunction) they were both very heavy going, so I decided to get a light read for the plane. I searched the shop for the first novel, the Bat, and because they were out of stock of that particulaur book, I made the mistake of buying this book. I later found out much of the plot is based around events of the previous two. I do not blame the author for this as some Amazon reviewers would perhaps do, only myself for assuming that the novel would be a standalone.
It does work partially as a standalone book, though. The main plot revolves around a serial killer, with only the secondary plot relying on the previous books. It is readable, compelling and interesting, but perhaps lacks a certain life-or-death suspense until the very end. The main character, Harry Hole, is likeable, if a little cliche, and makes you really feel for him when he goes through his problems with alcaholism. There are some real disturbing scenes in this book, especially towards the end, but on the whole it is just a compelling slice of classic crime fiction.
Prehaps the most remarkable part of the book, though, was the translation, which was flawless and would never lead anyone to guess that it was originally in Norweigen. It has a very "thriller" tone and it gives the reader a sense of comfort, knowing that Norway is not so different from England or America, (at least it seems this way in the book). There are even some references to Iggy Pop. Overall, although this is not quite the pageturner I would expect from a thriller, it is an intelligent, robust book with intruiging characters and a compelling storyline.
+ Intelligently crafted plot.
+ Believable character development.
+ Violence which fits into the story, and is not gratuitous.
- Cliche charachter archetypes.
- Lack of suspense.