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VINE VOICEon 12 December 2009
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.

Meanwhile Harry's girlfriend is in Moscow fighting for custody of her son. An old flame of Harry's gets in touch, they decide to meet up. The first part of the evening remains clear but as the night continues things become blurry with a complete touch of memory loss, how did he make it home? A phone call from a colleague brings nothing but more bad news, his ex has been found in her bed its an apparent suicide. Harry sets about to cover tracks while trying to unravel that fateful evening but as he starts to receive strange e-mails, he realizes someone wants to play a deadlier game!

Nemesis spirit of divine retribution. Jo Nesbø gives us a real brain teasing puzzle that's thrilling and gripping, just when you thought you had it; the plot twists and turns and takes us in many direction with art of trickery, manipulation. This book comes with all things dark, shady characters, crooked policeman, dirty family secrets and sibling rivalry, scars run deep, it's a marvelous story of betrayal and revenge.

Love this author work his very descriptive always changing the view, different reflections and it also comes with brilliant characterization, clear insight, observation and mannerism of people. Harry Hole is a compelling character to read, If you're reading about Harry for the first time, expect a loner, an alcoholic full of cynicism, who tends not to fit in with the office crowd but that's what he prefers, rubbing just about anybody up the wrong way, but he remains likeable. It's that touch of humour that Jo Nesbø adds to his characters and chapters (titles) which gives the novels an edge that rolls so easily into these thrillers, it translates into an English dry sense of humour and flows nicely into all the stories intertwining.

For anyone starting this series I would always recommend from The Redbreast and then following the series through with this book; Nemesis, The Devil's Star and finally The Redeemer. I read all books as they were published out of order which caused no problems either; but to get the full feel of the characters who come and go and references to other story lines it always best to take it from the top.

With added news reports from the Afghanistan War giving us a sense of time making this novel a modern day contemporary thriller another hugely enjoyable read to this series. Highly Recommended

Also adding here a thank you to Don Bartlett for the clear translation in the series.

Andrea Bowhill
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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... thickness, in his portrayal of periphery characters, but his plots are immense, thrilling beasts, and Hole is just as compelling a character as Rebus if not moreso. And Nesbo is just as good a writer, with just as compelling an insight into human beings. So far, none of Nesbo's novels have clocked in at under 450 hardback pages, and it's hard to imagine even Rankin sustaining a plot for that long in quite the same way. Writhing basilisks, there's always a new twist. The fact that he can sustain a plot for so long, constantly cutting it up and confounding expectations, is remarkable, and made all 474 pages of Nemesis a complete pleasure. To sustain the suspense, the pace, the tension, the interest, over so long, and to offer excitement from page one, is a stunning achievement. He shows a constant talent to surprise and shock, to pull the rug out from under you again and again in an almost Deaver-esque way, but manages to do it (unlike Deaver) in a way that doesn't feel contrived or as if you're just watching a particularly well-made but heartless piece of clockwork. There's a passion for the genre here, and it comes across in spades.

Nemesis is as thrilling and gripping as his previously would lead you to hope. Harry may be your stereotypical alcoholic cop, but he still manages to feel completely original and as engaging as this kind of protagonist is able to be, which is rare, given that the genre is as saturated with them as their blood is with alcohol. A brilliant thriller rife with violence and vengeance, it may be lengthy but you won't want it to end.
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on 25 March 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2010
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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on 10 March 2008
Just finishes this book. Excellent read, it kept me on edge as Nesbo's hero - Harry Hole - solves two Oslo crimes, one a bank robbery in which a female is killed, the other the apparent suicide of an old girl friend.

Kept me on my toes to the very last chapter.

There were some inconsistencies with the plot which I only resolved when I found out that 'Nemesis' actually comes between the other two Harry books - 'The Redbreast' and ' The Devil's Star'.

I'll now have to re-read 'The Devil's Star' to sort out Harry Hole's continuing investigation of the murder of his colleague Ellen Gjelten in the earlier book.

My advice? Try the read the books in chronological order.

I do hope that the publishers release Jo Nesbo's next two Harry Hole books in the right order!
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on 9 February 2012
Following on from 'Redbreast', Nemesis gives us a mystery involving old girlfriends; serial bank robbers; jailed gypsies and Norwegian cops.

By far the most interesting aspect of this one is the exceptionally large fusiform gyrus of Beate Lonn. Tremendous character.

Anyway, others have done the critiques much better than me, so dispel your fears about the bad reviews, launch into this and enjoy it.
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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2010
A detective who;
Is a recovering alcoholic with the occasional lapse
Doesn't get on with most of his colleagues
Has a very tangled and difficult personal life.
Defies his superiors and gets into all sorts of bother
Despite all this is the brilliant maverick who ends up solving the case through some inspired insight not available to others.

Yes, Harry Hole (possibly the worst name for a crime fiction hero ever) is a veritable cornucopia of detective clichés.

Let me add a few clichés of my own to describe this book.

Intelligent, enthralling, page-turner, gripping, thrilling; in other words just a fantastic read.

Jo Nesbo creates a real believable world in this novel. There is a real sense of place and the reader feels as if he is walking down the streets of Oslo with Harry Hole. It is one of those novels where I really felt as if I was living in a world created by the author.

The plot is great too, with a plethora of twists and turns; mostly unexpected but all believable. The characterisation is similarly excellent with an excellent supporting cast of characters all of whom have interesting slants on life and the story unfolding around them. Relationships seem like the real world with a mixture of the petty, the dislikeable and the noble.

This is a truly excellent novel, brilliantly written (and a round of applause please for the translator, Don Bartlett) which kept this reader hooked throughout. I'll have to go and read the rest of the series now. I simply could not recommend this highly enough.
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(4.5 stars) More like a fiendish sudoku puzzle than a traditional police procedural, this blockbuster novel, set in Oslo, challenges alcoholic Inspector Harry Hole to find solutions to four cold-blooded murders, which may or may not be related. A "square peg" in the police department, Hole does not hesitate to do things his own way, often infuriating his peers while still inspiring (sometimes grudging) respect for his honesty. A bank robbery in which a gunman executes his female hostage because the bank manager exceeds twenty-five seconds to fill a bag with money is just the start of the non-stop action. As Harry Hole investigates the similarities between this robbery and stunning earlier robberies by Raskol Baxhet, a gypsy now incarcerated, the reader is jerked every which-way, his/her perceptions constantly changed as new information emerges about the characters and the past.

When the video of the bank robbery/murder becomes available, Beate Lonn begins working the case with Harry. Beate is one of only ten people in the world who can remember every face she has ever seen, and Harry becomes her mentor. Both Harry and Beate are grieving--he for the loss of Ellen Gjelten, his partner and friend, murdered while investigating arms-trafficking, and Beate for the loss of her father, a police officer also murdered. Questions remain about both murders. When Harry, one night, accepts an invitation from a former lover, "for old times' sake," he becomes involved in yet another case--his own. When he awakens the next morning he has absolutely no memory of what happened, and he worries that he may have committed a murder.

As Harry and his rivals within the police department work to solve the most recent murders, the author considers the psychology of the characters as much their actions, often switching points of view between paragraphs and scenes. The meticulously constructed plot moves at breakneck pace, and as Nesbo draws in new characters, each of whom has a past to be investigated, he juggles bits and pieces of information--and surprises--which change the direction and focus. The cases become more intertwined and more complex, and "Case Solved" proves time and again to be an illusion. The action moves from Oslo to Brazil and back, from mainstream neighborhoods to gypsy caravans and the Oslo jail, from the police department to the lonely citizens they serve, and from Harry to his long-time love, who is in Russia suing for custody of her son.

The reader's interest grows in Harry Hole, Beate Lonn, and several other characters, and Harry's relationship with jailed Raskol Baxhet, the gypsy robber, is particularly interesting, as he and Baxhet, a master manipulator, alternately despise and respect each other. Ultimately, the reader agrees that "A good manipulator can make you believe that the edge of a 100-kroner note is the edge of a knife." Author Nesbo proves to be a greatest manipulator of all. n Mary Whipple

The Redbreast
The Devil's Star
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on 10 September 2014
Nemesis is an effective and atmospheric Scandinavia crime thriller. This was my second outing with Jo Nesbo's Oslo based detective: Harry Hole. I was pleased that it came complete with a useful map of the town centre. I found this book to be a enjoyable read; it gave some surprising insights into the contemporary way of life of a country which I have always intended to visit but somehow never got around to it. Having also just read the first in the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell, I was inclined to draw comparisons and decided that Nesbo's character just shaded it although the dysfunctional Harry is less sympathetic in my view. Recommended as an interesting alternative to UK based crime writers such Peter James and Ian Rankin.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest crime novel: 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 12 October 2015
Yet another gripping read with many twists and turns to keep you guessing to the last. The character of Harry is developing throughout the series and I feel as if I am beginning to know him. My only problem with the books are that I find it difficult to pronounce some of the names and I have to gloss over them. This is not generally a problem however, the places are often referred to again in the book and I can't remember which place they are and what happened there. This however, could just be my age!
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