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on 12 September 2008
Want a good read? This is a very good one. But be warned, Redbreast, although a little disjointed, and therefore harder to read, is a better place to start the Harry Hole series from. If you dont start from there some things might not make sense. In fact you will miss out on what is actually a continuation of the plot from the first book in some ways.Of course Nemesis comes in between just to confuse us all! But what ever you decide to do, this book is well written, as Nesbo really gets into his stride. The plot is full of twists and turns that you just dont expect so that makes it all the more enthralling! It is the kind of page turner that is really good for long air journeys or for sitting up late reading with page turning excitement! Characterisations? Oh yes! Very well constructed and keenly observed! Above all enjoy this Norwegian treasure!
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on 29 August 2010
Although I absolutely loved The Devil's Star" I was devasted to realize that I had read the last one first in the trilogy. You must read "The Redbreast" first and then "Nemesis" as "The Devil's Star" follows on from them. It is a great shame that this isn't made clear in these editions. On the inside cover of The Devil's Star it says"the first of Nesbo's novels to be translated into English" so I took a guess and read it first. So be warned! I became suspicious when I started on "The Redbreast" and certain characters were alive who shouldn't have been! I checked out Jo Nesbo's official website and discovered that there are two more Harry Hole novels preceding these three, "The Batman" and "The Cockroaches". Do hope that they are translated soon as it is such a shame not to be able to read them in the correct running order. If you enjoyed Stieg Larsson you will love these books.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 December 2005
Excellent book. Another excellent Scandinavian book. More colourful than a lot of these dour Scandinavian things, too: engaging, likeable Harry Hole is a step above Rebus, a step above Rebus. In the alcoholic stakes, he's probably only trumped by Robicheaux and then only just. He's a mess of a man who only survives in his job thanks to a boss who recognises his talent for what it is, and makes a pleasing change to all the antagonistic authority figures you normally see in novels like this.
Oslo makes for a good and unusual setting to the story, and Nesbo renders it atmospheriocally. The plot is clever, absolutely gripping, very well structured, and Nesbo handles everything very well indeed. Part of what makes this novel great is that this is never really the book, plotwise, that you think it is. It begins with a disappearance, morphs into an interesting serial killer novel, and over 100 pages from the end, when Hole aprehends the killer, it morphs into something quite different. Just when you think the book is winding down and surely can't have far to go, it kicks right off into a tense thriller. There's enough plot here for two good books, but Nesbo condenses it excellently into one. Yet again I look forward to reading even more from this new foreign writer.
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on 11 February 2006
A serial killer. An alcoholic cop in trouble with his superiors. Yes, the ingredients seem familiar, but Jo Nesbo's The Devil's Star rings a few changes and is an extremely promising introduction to Oslo detective Harry Hole. The solution to the story is all but unguessable and along the way Nesbo gives a refreshing insight into Norwegian society and creates a series of vivid character portraits that add considerable depth to what might have been formulaic material. I particularly liked the relationship between Hole and his nemesis Waaler, the latter a truly repellent character. The plotting is tight, with red herrings judiciously deployed, whilst throughout the writing is measured, sardonic, compelling. Often lurid, with the cast's sexual pecadilloes explored to telling effect, the next in the series cannot come too soon.
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on 3 October 2010
this book isnt the first book of harry hole. it is the 3rd according to his own website. Why then are the first two missing? I was looking on kindle so not sure about paperbacks but amazon have got this one wrong, and not for the first time.
I suggest checking author sites before buying and if needbe, buy elsewhere to get the missing novels first.
This series are as follows -

The batman
The cockroaches
The redbreast
The devils star
The redeemer
The snowman
The leopard

get it right amazon !!!!!
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on 10 October 2006
Of the crime novels I have read in the last year this was my favourite and this includes offerings from Hennig Mankell,John Harvey,both books by that Icelandic bloke,Michael Connelly and Minette Walters.I was surprised that I would warm to a character with the name Harry Hole,( is this a strange translation of a Norwegian name?) but as a dysfunctional character he beats the hell out of Wallander or Rebus.

I liked the book so much that I was almost beside myself with excitement when I found what I thought was the sequel in the form of The Redbreast.It was a big disappointment to discover that allthough this book was printed after Devils Star it is in fact the first book. So if you are new to Jo Nesbo please read Redbreast first and you wont be disappointed.
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(4.5 stars) In the third novel of this outstanding mystery series to be released in the US, alcoholic police inspector Harry Hole, "the lone wolf, the drunk, the [Oslo Police] department's enfant terrible...and the best detective on the sixth floor" has been AWOL from his job for a month, on a bender which he seems unable to end. He is obsessed with identifying and finding the killer of Ellen Gjelten, his former partner and friend. And Rakel, the woman he dearly loves, has told him to stay away from her and her young son until he resolves his problems. When Bjarne Moller, the Crime Squad Chief, calls him to investigate the death of a young woman, Moller is so short-handed that he has to put Harry on an investigation team with Tom Waller, a man Harry despises and believes to be involved in criminal enterprises.

Norwegian author Jo Nesbo begins this novel with the best first three paragraphs that I have read in years. Ostensibly a description of a water leak which works its way from a fifth floor apartment into the apartment below, it is, in reality a menace-filled mood-setter which presages real horror. And when the ceiling in the fourth floor apartment starts to leak on the young couple preparing a pot of potatoes on the stove, Nesbo's truly wicked sense of humor kicks in, to re-emerge at other critical points in the novel. Before long the police have more murders and a missing persons case. A "devil's star," with one point on the bottom and two at the top, has been found at every crime scene, and each victim has a star-shaped red diamond inserted under the eyelid. Each also has a finger missing.

The mystery here is compelling-the story of a twisted killer being sought by policemen who also have their own problems-but Nesbo is at least as concerned with character. Harry Hole is in much worse shape than he has been in previous novels, and his relationships with his formerly supportive superiors have reached the breaking point. In the midst of his most drunken "sleeps," he dreams of Rakel, and of his little sister, who died in his company when she was only seven. Italicized inserts into the action give the point of view of the killer, a man who hates being "spat upon" when he has "no one to spit on in return." An unusually large number of red herrings keeps the tension high.

In this novel we see Nesbo's darkest humor, with some details so over-the-top and close to horror that the reader will smile even while being repulsed. His repetition of details as motifs throughout the novel reinforces his imagery, preparing the reader for a classic "gotcha" moment at the end. Nesbo creates a compelling mystery with even more compelling characters, and he does so with literary skill and panache. Those new to Nesbo may want to start with The Redbreast. Mary Whipple
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"The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked will perish."

-- Proverbs 10:28

Before commenting on The Devil's Star, let me strongly urge you to read The Redbreast and Nemesis first. I have three reasons for providing that recommendation:

1. The Redbreast is a remarkably good novel.
2. The Devil's Star contains elements that build on parts of the earlier two books.
3. You won't read The Devil's Star as carefully as you should if you haven't yet become familiar with Mr. Nesbo's style.

If you haven't read the two earlier books, stop reading my review now.

The Devil's Star has many wonderful aspects including:

-- a fascinating serial killer mystery
-- powerful conflict between Harry Hole and Tom Waaler
-- great suspense to enliven what is otherwise mostly a police procedural
-- excellent thrills in several places
-- subtle clues that reward the careful reader with solutions

The Redbreast, Nemesis, and The Devil's Star make for one of the best detective trilogies that I've had the pleasure to read. The primary theme in The Devil's Star is redemption (overcoming past mistakes to follow the righteous path in the present), and I found the writing to be excellent and the character development of Harry Hole to be well above average. The backdrop of the earlier two books brings a color and tension to this book that almost makes it painful to read in places, so strong is the inclination to identify with Harry Hole's problems.

Go into the book with your usual expectations from a story like this, and I think you'll come away impressed with Mr. Nesbo's achievement.

Very nice.
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on 9 September 2015
I am thoroughly enjoying the Harry Hole books!

The Devil's Star follows the excellent Nemesis, with Harry having to join forces with his rival and enemy in the police force, Tom Waaler, to track down a serial killer. As usual, Nesbo crafts a chilling story around Harry's personal struggles.

The story reaches a thrilling conclusion, although I was somewhat surprised by it. A recurring theme since The Redbreast is effectively resolved (no spoilers!) but I was surprised Nesbo chose to conclude this storyline at such an early stage in the series. I had expected this to continue through to the last book but my surprise is not unwelcome. Nesbo has just thrown a curve ball, leaving room to develop something new and I'm really excited to see how he takes the series forward.
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on 5 June 2006
Thriller or crime novel ? It seems to be one then the other. But no matter, either way it is a treat to read. The spare, descriptive style of the early chapters gives way to a richer, more complex and emotionally literate style - perhaps a paradigm of development of the central character: Harry Hole. Harry Hole - where does one begin ? - Hole v Rebus in the Inadequate Human Being Stakes ? Hole is a winner by a distance - but in such a way that we might be tempted to invite him into our front room for a psychotherapy session. Plenty of twists and turns and a gripping climax (kept me up to almost 1am - and that's rare these days!).
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