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on 27 March 2009
Jo Nesbo's last 3 books were almost like a Trilogy, ending with Devils Star, so I was intrigued to find out what was going to happen next in Harry Hole's life.
The Redeemer does not disappoint. It's really the start of a new beginning. There's a new police chief for starters and inevitably he clashes with Hole.
I won't give too much away about the story except to say it's complex, and with enough twists to keep you guessing right til the very end.
If your a fan of the Jo Nesbo series you will not want to miss this. Even if you're not, it is still a great story in it's own right.
NB. This version is paperback, but its as big as a hardback.
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2009
The Redeemer is the fourth book in translation by Jo Nesbo and he captures our imagination with this book by bringing us readers into the storyline twelve years prior to the main plot. We start with the rape of a fourteen year old girl that takes place at a Salvation Army summer camp in Norway. Although we know there was a rape we are not given clues who committed this act or disclosure of the victim. In a second separate event we are also given the story of a young Croatian boy caught up in history of Croatia and it's political cruelties his known by others as the little redeemer.

Current Day: Oslo, shots ring out at a Christmas Concert, a volunteer dressed as a Salvation Army soldier is executed by a man in the crowd. Less than an hour later Inspector Harry Hole is at the crime scene and with hardly any leads to go on in the hunt for his faceless killer his luck's about to change, the current snow storm that has hit Oslo has grounded flights. Stranded, the Killer looks for a place to stay and keeps a low profile but as the cold night draws on he also discovers he made a fatal mistake his shot the wrong man. With his contract job still pending he makes the most of his time in Oslo and decides to finish his work. He takes refuge for a while with the Salvation Army trying to hide behind the seamy side, where drug dealers and dope heads sell their clothes for fixes even if it could mean life or death in a freezing city. As twisted events unfold Harry suddenly finds himself looking for two types of psychopaths an assassin and a rapist; on the wintry streets of Oslo it suddenly becomes an increasing desperate situation for all.

Fantastic reading! all the ingredients of evil in one book, lies, deceit, revenge, biblical passages, manipulation, bribery, corruptions, violence and more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing! I will never look at my vacuum cleaner in the same light again!

The Author Jo Nesbo does a wonderful job in this book with his incredible observation, not only of people with their thoughts and feelings making all characters seem so very real, but also about every day life and little things in general. Subjects such as politics, giving us the good/bad sides to his city, level of corruptions in Oslo and of course if you haven't been to Oslo, like me, he gives us those clear visuals, a sense of place for our minds to work towards. You can clearly tell when reading through his interviewed people thoroughly, tapping into different areas also adding parts of history to build the story. He remains very descriptive throughout his writing, which is something I love more than anything and it really adds and helps us readers use our imagination to lose ourselves in the whole dark twisted plot.

I actually refer to this book as Harry new start, his ex girlfriend is very much in the background and he also managed to get himself to AA meetings and stay soberish for this book. But his still having that constant battle since he requires to carry a hip flask with his favorite tipple as a safety precaution. Even though there are three others books before this one; you can start straight from here, but I would always recommend from the beginning. There will be references to other characters in passing but explanations on them are given throughout.

Harry Hole remains a compelling character to read; a romantic with a very cynical side, he also realizes he needs to confront and question his own weaknesses. After reading the first three books The Redbreast,Nemesis and The Devil's Star you will learn Harry's Achilles heal is alcohol, his an alcoholic. His job requires him to live between good and evil in his every day life, but between the lines, could his own addictions and rule breaking finally make him face those two sides of good/evil, which one will finally take hold of him first. Other nice touches to Harry's character, he is, his own man, clearly likes women, well read and he has his love of music and films. But something I noticed over all others right from the first book, Norwegian Hole maybe, but my favorite characteristic in him would be directness of conversation spun with an English dry sense of humor.

For all books that I've read so far in this series, the stories are fascinating to read, constantly moving forward and the plots interwoven with smaller stories throughout bringing in the old and new characters along the way keeping everything fresh with the right pace, suspense, tension and interest. The Author holds the excitement from one page to the next and knows how to surprise, twist and shock.

The Redeemer maybe 460 pages but it's entertaining all the way especially loving the twists. It engages the mind to the very end which clearly makes this book another winner to add to a great series.

Also adding here a thank you to Don Bartlett who gave us all the clear translation of each book in this series. Next in translation The Snowman released March 2010.

Andrea Bowhill
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on 5 April 2009
A Croatian hitman arrives in Harry Hole's home city of Oslo to assassinate an officer with the Salvation Army. Due to the vagaries of the Norwegian weather the hit man is unable to make his flight out from the city so he is forced to stay overnight. Only then does he realise he's blundered and taken-out the wrong man. At the same time Harry is investigating the apparent suicide of a drug addict.

From this Nesbo develops his plot complexities and takes us through his twists, where each time we believe (or are meant to believe) the hit man has been collared by the law, but hasn't. This is very much Jeffery Deaver territory - see `The Coffin Dancer' for example - but to be fair, Jo's reversals are much less `forced' than a lot of the American writer's. And, although some of the twists in `The Redeemer' are telegraphed, the author still serves up a real stunner at the book's conclusion, that I guarantee you won't see coming.

The book is shot through with real quality, and the whole Salvation Army milieu is brilliantly evoked. He also captures the drug-ridden, seamy underside of Oslo superbly and realistically.

In Harry Hole, he has created another great entry in the grizzled, ex-alcoholic, unlucky-in-love, detectives. In `The Redeemer' Harry joins the AA to resolve his problem - and this brings to mind, among others, James Lee Burke's, Dave Robicheux, and Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder. But, despite occasionally being derivative, Harry Hole is still one of the more multi-faceted and interesting detectives out there. And another plus is the fascinating and believeable back story he establishes for his Croatian hit man.

Such is the regard in which I hold the phenomenal Jo Nesbo, that although I was slightly disappointed with this latest translation, I still think it's worth at least four stars, and I almost gave it five. Gripping, with a superbly drawn sense of place and time, 'The Redeemer' is still good enough to knock the spots off most of the competition.

If you've never read Jo Nesbo before, then 'The Redeemer' would be a good introduction, and may well lead you towards investigating the three previously translated books. However, these form a sort of trilogy and should be read in the correct sequence. All I can say is this writer is now firmly fixed on my list of 'must read' authors, and I'm hungry for more from this world class talent.
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on 8 September 2009
You can read the Harry Hole novels out of sequence but it is far better to read them in the order they were written.

Sadly the first two of the series are seemingly unobtainable. The Bat Man being the first and The Cockroaches the second were either never translated into English and published or so few copies were printed there are none available second hand. If any one reading this has a copy of these books and wishes to sell or knows where I can get them please let me know.

The first available in English is the Redbreast, followed by Nemesis, next is Devil's Star and last is this one, the Redeemer. I believe the next has been published in Norway, the Snowman, and is to be published in the UK some time next year.

Nemisis was published in English after Devil's Star which is a great shame as the recurring theme of Hole investigating one of his fellow Inspectors kicks off in Redbreast and continues through Nemesis and reaches it conclusion in the Devil's Star.

Nesbo writes some of the best detective thrillers I have ever read. If you know Mankell's Wallander books you will really enjoy Nesbo. You will already be used to dealing with Scandanavian names and places which I found takes some getting used to as does the rather introspective style of writing with the hero examining his flaws and failings throughout the text. This may sound dull but far from it. Nesbo integrates his hero's flaws into the plots and his plots always take you to new and unexpected places.

Read but read after you have read Redbreast etc.

Amazon, if you have any influence with Random House or any other publisher please get Bat Man and the Cockroaches published in English and please get Snowman out as soon as you can!
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on 8 March 2009
This is the fourth novel featuring Inspector Harry
Hole to be published in English.It is the best to date, brim
full of unexpected twists and turns and suspense until the end.
Hole is dealing with what seems to be a case of suicide
of a drug addict which involves the Salvation Army in his enquiries.Coincidentally an active member of the Salvation Army
is then shot.The assassin is a Croatian ,known as the 'little redeemer',and when he thinks he has shot the wrong person ,he desperately tries to make amends,persued by Hole and his team.Interspersed in the exciting
plot,we learn much more about the troubled Harry Hole,who is fast becoming one of the most interesting characters in modern crime fiction
A breathtakingly good read.
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on 20 May 2012
I did not enjoy this book. It hovered somewhere between not interesting or exciting enough to capture my imagination but yet not bad enough to abandon. I have given it two stars because I suspect that it may have just been a personal preference issue as opposed to being badly written or constructed. I found the writing quite clinical and the only really vivid bits of writing were about the weather, which as the book is set in Norway just made me cold all the time. I didn't care about any of the characters and I wasn't either surprised or particularly interested in the twist. I don't think I'll be reading any more of this author.
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on 17 May 2009
For the last three or four years I have been completely converted to Scandinavian Crime Writers. Jo Nesbo writes complicated and convoluted stories, which I find interesting and fascinating.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2010
This is my fourth Jo Nesbo book and that should tell you how much I enjoyed the first three, but unfortunately I found this one less absorbing and too complex. I hate that feeling three quarters of the way through a book when a character is mentioned and one has no idea who is that person is and one has to flick back and forth to try and work out who or what is important. Harry Hole did his usual trick, this time perhaps with a bit more sympathy than before, but I regret that this is the bottom of my Nesbo favorite list. Still worth it but not the best.
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on 23 September 2014
'The Redeemer' is the fourth in a sequence of police stories set in modern day Norway and featuring Oslo's brilliant but erratic detective: Harry Hole.

This time, a singer at a Christmas concert is shot dead ... without apparent motive. The dysfunctional Harry and his team are called in to investigate with little to go on ... no immediate suspect and no weapon.
Unaware that the victim has fallen foul of an assassination attempt gone wrong, Harry finds that his troubles have only just begun as the highly proficient killer determines to rectify his mistake and finish the job.
This is well written crime thriller in which the author leaves no stone unturned in his latest excursion into the depths of human depravity.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest crime novel: Reality Shaper: The Quantum Detective
Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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on 31 May 2014
Having read the past Harry Hole books I went into this one thinking that possibly the best day's were behind the character and that the story lines might get repetitive / boring. However after the first 5 chapters I was sucked into the world again of the boozy yet brilliant detective. The usual twists and turns follow leading as usual to and ending not suspected until at least the last chapters.

Warning though for first time readers, some chapters can be complicated in the structure of writing, of which sometimes you may have to go back to ensure what you've read is correct (i.e. jumping between characters conversations).

Otherwise top notch as usual!

I hope this review helped you. If so, I would appreciate it if you clicked on the Yes button for a helpful review. If you have any questions, please ask. I am pretty responsive to comments
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