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The Redbreast: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 1) Paperback – 20 Jan 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 437 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First printing of this edition edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099546779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099546771
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (437 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"THE NEXT STIEG LARSSON" (INDEPENDENT)

"A page-turner you won't want to put down" (Time Out)

"A complex, utterly captivating story" (Evening Standard)

"Scary...culminates in a nail-biting episode with overtones of The Day of the Jackal" (Independent)

"Norway's finest crime writer... Nesbo clearly demonstrates his skill at executing expertly-crafted, well-paced thrillers that he sustains to the very end in a compelling fashion. As first novels go, The Redbreast and The Devil's Star are as accomplished as any reader is likely to experience" (Daily Express)

Book Description

A brilliantly tense thriller from Scandinavian crime writing superstar Jo Nesbo.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must concur with most of the other reviewers - a superb detective story and a charismatic new detective to rival, if not surpass, Kurt Wallender. Where Nesbo scores over Mankell is the tightly plotted story line and plausible psychological motivation despite the complicated and dramatic theme. There are plenty of ironic twists and sharp dialogue as the grumpy (what else) and intuitive Harry Hole follows up a hunch about a deadly sniping rifle smuggled into the country that leads him via a trail of dead bodies to an amazing serial killer and a deadly vengeance whose origins date back to WW2 on the Eastern Front. There is a fair bit of scene switching from the trenches to the modern setting but the killer's identity is fairly well hidden. The reader also gets a fascinating insight into the Norwegian political conscience about their divided loyalty during the war. The detection is a tantalising chase and the action is compelling right to the end. Well written and translated and nesbo leaves a loose end that will surely propel Hole into another story soon. I've already bought the follow up Devil's Star and look forward to more sleepless nights.
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By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 24 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an utterly fantastic book. Two narrative strands, one historic and one contemporary, are intertwined, leaving the reader intrigued as to exactly what the connection will turn out to be.

The historic strand addresses issues which must be painful to many Norwegians; specifically the involvement that some of them had in supporting the Nazis to the extent of fighting alongside them on the Russian front.

The writing in this novel is absolutely superb. There is one sequence in particular where Nesbo absolutely captivates the reader and enables him to feel the pain experienced by his central character, Harry Hole. This starts with a chapter which flits between events which are happening simultaneously, much like jump cuts in certain films. This is followed by a series of chapters consisting simply of telephone messages left by Harry. These communicate very effectively all of the pain, anguish and guilt he feels at this point lifting this novel above the run of the mill detective story.

The book has many sub-plots, but these are all handled so well that they do not detract from the narrative drive and the pace of the story is well maintained.

The two strands of the narrative come together at the end in a way which is both convincing and (at least to this reader) unexpected.

Nesbo is quite simply one of the best crime novelists on the planet and the Redbreast finds him absolutely at the top of his game. I cannot recommend this enough.
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By Mr TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You must have noticed the marketing drive behind Jo Nesbo by now! Posters popping up everywhere and if you are anything like me you may stop and think - too much hype? Well, I am pleased to say that having just finished The Redbreast, this is a good police thriller, with a sympathetic leading man in Harry Hole, and a dense structure that will keep your heart paced right to the very end. In places the Norwegian history and the dark tales of World War II may seem a little confusing but stick with it, Nesbo wants it to be...

For those like me who are new to the series and get hoplessly lost as to the order of the novels here it is

2000 - Rødstrupe; English translation by Don Bartlett: The Redbreast (2006)
2002 - Sorgenfri; English translation by Don Bartlett: Nemesis (2008)
2003 - Marekors; English translation by Don Bartlett: The Devil's Star (2005)
2005 - Frelseren; English translation by Don Bartlett: The Redeemer (2009)
2007 - Snømannen; English translation by Don Bartlett: The Snowman (2010)
2009 - Panserhjerte; English translation by Don Bartlett: The Leopard (2011)
2011 - Gjenferd (2011) (English: Phantom, 2012)
2013 - Politi (2013) (English: Police, 2013)

Start reading now...the series is very worthwhile and this is the cop thriller at its best.
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Format: Paperback
Far from being 'the next Steig Larsson', Jo Nesbo's first Harry Hole novel is set in Norway and other than being in the crime genre and translated into English has nothing in common with the author he is so frequently compared to. I've also found out after reading that this is meant to be the third book in the series (the first two not being available in English), which explains the lack of introduction to the characters.

Hole's suspicions are aroused following reports of a rare firearm being smuggled into the country, however his investigation is constantly blocked by his bosses. The first half of the book is painfully slow, and the set-up described in the blurb does not even finish until over halfway through the book. During the early portions, half the story takes place in 1999, and the other half in the 1940s during the second world war. The narrative flicks between the two time periods with nothing to connect the two and is quite confusing until you get used to it.

Once a defining event hits just after the halfway point, and some new characters dropped in, the story picks up, and becomes readable - before this I only found myself able to read a chapter at a time as the plot was moving so slowly. It took me a week to read the first half compared with a day for the second. The story finally begun to make sense but there was little to suggest the reader had been meant to work any of it out as they went - the whole mystery had to be spelt out by the characters at the end to make clear what had happened.

The ending itself was abrupt and sudden, with very little follow-up to the climax, and leaves some annoying unresolved plot lines that I can only assume will be picked up in the sequel. I was defiantly going to give up on Nesbo during the first half (and almost considered giving up on this book), but given how it picked up I think I may have a go at the second novel before deciding whether to continue with the series.
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