Thursday, 24 November 2011

Book Review: The Leopard - Jo Nesbo

Synopsis - In the depths of winter, a killer stalks the city streets.  His victims are two young women, both found with twenty four inexplicable wounds, both drowned in their own blood.  The crime scenes offer no clues, the media is reaching fever pitch, and the police are running out of options.  There is only one man who can help them, and he doesn't want to be found.

Deeply traumatised by The Snowman investigation, which threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, Inspector harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong's opium dens.  But with his father seriously ill in hospital, Harry reluctantly agrees to return to Oslo.  He has no intention of working on the case, but his instinct takes over when a third victim is found brutally murdered in a city park.

The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it's not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in an isolated mountain hostel.  and someone is picking off the guests one by one.

Review - I have a thing about Scandinavia and Scandinavian crime thrillers.  Having enjoyed Wallander on TV, particularly Krister Henriksson's portrayal, I want to read all of Henning Mankel's series.  The Danish TV series The Killing is also very good.  Hence when my book group chose Jo Nesbo's The Leopard I was just a bit excited!  Little did I know that The Leopard is the sixth book in the series and having not read any of the others, I feel I'm doing this back to front.  On opening the book I was bitten!  A big book which I couldn't put down.  Like Stieg Larssen's trilogy (I read and watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) it gripped me from beginning to end.

Nesbo's Detective Harry Hole is not that unlike Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, a troubled man with a bad track record in his relationships with women.  Both very focussed on solving their crimes but who run into trouble with their superiors.  They break rules to get results.

I will be reading all of Nesbo's Harry Hole books and I am anticipating that they are all as exciting and good as The Leopard.  A must read for all those who like a good crime novel.  5*


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