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Nemesis: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 2) Paperback – 4 Sep 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 316 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099505932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099505938
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 681,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"An absolute blinder of a book" (Daily Sport)

"A superb novel. Intricate, truly gripping plot...elegant simplicity. Bravo! - as they say in Norway" (Evening Standard)

"Reads incredibly nimbly ... This tale of revenge - with the US bombing of Afghanistan pounding in the grim background - has twists galore, and enough humanity in it to keep it grounded. A master at work" (Time Out)

Book Description

Harry Hole and his team are in a race against time to crack the identity of a violent bank robber who always seems one step ahead.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Extra Information: The first two books for this Harry Hole series The Bat Man and The Cockroaches have not been produced for translation at this time. If you were to start this series my recommendation would be from third book The Redbreast. The series then follows through in order Nemesis, The Devil's Star, The Redeemer which will then bring everyone up to date for the release of The Snowman March 2010.

Review - Nemesis (Harry Hole, Fourth Book)

Nemesis is a suspenseful, tightly complex twisted plot, full of illusion, nothing is as it seems. Jo Nesbø once again captivates us from the opening chapter with crystal clear visuals, letting our imagination take pictures of everything happening second by second. Were all standing in a bank queue; a robber walks in and quickly controls the area. He directly stands before a female bank cashier she's given twenty five seconds for him to receive his money, when he doesn't get the cash on time; six seconds too late, she's executed at point blank range, the robber escapes leaving no forensic evidence. Harry Hole is assigned to the case, all he has as a lead is grainy CCTV footage, a playback of the crime in slow motion, what he needs is a fatal mistake, just one discrepancy, until then the robber continues his spree of evil across Oslo.
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By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
Nemesis is the fourth Harry Hole novel (pronounced something like "Huller", I recall reading somewhere), and the third that's been translated into English. And it's difficult to find a review that doesn't make note of that. You'd think publishers would listen up when people moan about this issue. Then, Nesbo's risen quite quickly in the crime fiction league tables, so they must be doing something right. Or: Nesbo's growing popularity is a result of the undeniable quality of the books, regardless of the quirky order you're forced to read them in. I prefer to think it's the latter option. Because, to be frank, they are all so damn good.

Nemesis begins with a bank robbery. The teller is given 25 seconds to hand over the money. She does it within the time, but the robber raises the gun to her head and shoots her anyway. Then he escapes, having left no forensic evidence whatsoever.

Meanwhile, while Harry's girlfriend is in Moscow fighting for custody of her son, Harry hooks up with an old flame, Anna. As you do if you're an alcoholic cop on the route to trouble. He spends the night with her, but come the morning when he wakes up in his own bed, he can't remember a thing. Later on, she is found dead in her apartment, an apparent suicide. But Harry smells a rat. And as the bank robberies continue, he must quietly investigate Anna's death without drawing attention to himself. But that'll be difficult. Because someone's sending Harry strange emails. Someone who knows...

Jo Nebso really is a remarkably good crime-writer. The nearest British comparison is Ian Rankin, but there are many areas where Nesbo is simply better. He may not capture Oslo in quite the same way as Rankin does Edinburgh, or have quite the same...
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Format: Hardcover
Tricky things translations: does the book you're reading carry the authentic voice of the writer, or has it become coloured by the translator? All I can say is that author Jo Nesbo appears to have been well served by Don Bartlett, the man chosen to render this Norwegian novel into English. Set largely in Oslo, 'Nemesis' is a tremendous read. It's full of everything the reader of crime fiction wants: false trails, neat twists, a complex plot. Every time you feel you've got a handle on one of the cases investigated, Nesbo confounds you with another twist you didn't see coming.

The staples of a great many British/American crime novels are in here: the flawed ex-alcoholic detective (the unfortunately named Harry Hole), internicine divisions within the investigating police department, a criminal mastermind still pulling strings from within prison... but Nesbo's writing transcends these cliches, and it's a genuinely thrilling, totally refreshing book, with a rich atmosphere that permeates every page. Scandinavians have a completely different mentality to the British, and this helps make the characters all the more compelling.

Nesbo's other previously translated books, 'The Devil's Star' and 'The Redbreast' are now high on my 'to buy' list and I greatly look forward to reading them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I previously read both 'The Redbreast' and 'The Snowman' which I both enjoyed. However, I felt that Nemesis fell short of these other two which were both good. In this novel there are two main plot threads. The first involves a serial bankrobber and the second involves the apparent murder of one of Inspector Hole's former girlfriends. These are tenously linked by the character of Raskol, a Romany and career criminal, who is related to the dead woman and has detailed inside knowledge of the world of the armed criminal. There is also the ongoing thread of rogue detective Tom Waaler and Harry Hole's continuing search to bring the killer of Hole's former colleague to justice, a thread which was started in 'The Redbreast'. The major reason is that I thought this volume didn't reach the standard of the other two is that for me the plotting and characters' motivations here were rather unbelievable resulting in what I perceived as plot flaws. Unfortunately it is difficult to elaborate without plot spoilers. Anyway, I find the character of Harry Hole, the Rebus of Oslo, and his continuing rivalry with Waaler and Iversson interesting enough to carry on and read 'The Devil's Star'. Incidently, as others have noted, the series has been issued out of sequence in English translation. As I understand it 'The Redbreast' was the first, 'Nemesis' the second and 'Devil's Star' the third, although they haven't been published in this order in the UK. Ordinarily this may not matter, but it does here because the Waaler story line provides a continuous thread and therefore they really need to be tackled in the order they were written. This seems a puzzling publishing decision.
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