“Nesbo is a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Since I had absolutely loved reading ‘The Thirst’ which was the 11th and the latest Harry Hole thriller, I had made up my mind to dig up Nesbo’s older novels about the Alcoholic Police Officer with an amazing eye for detail (to go with the Amazing liver) and what better place to go than the beginning itself.
To my surprise, the setting for the curtain raiser wasn’t based in Norway but way down under (literally down under). So, the Nordic supercop is in Sydney to assist the local police in a murder investigation a Norwegian girl temporarily living in Australia. He gets an Indigenous Aboriginal cop for company. I’ll leave aside other plot details because don’t want to put any spoilers and get down to brass tacks.
It is one of the most easily readable novels where in your mind can gobble up 100 odd pages in a flash without having to look up or absorb anything which can be attributed not only to Nesbo’s writing skills but also the brilliant translator. I’ve found poor translation to be an issue with most books not written in English originally but thankfully this was a welcome exception. Now, “without having to absorb anything” doesn’t translate to lack of details. Infact, he was very generous with providing lots of history and legends about the Aborigines without having to sway too much from the main plot.
I felt a couple of times that he was going off on too many inconsequential tangents, but at the end ,all of those innocuous tales seemed absolutely justified. And he picks up the pace steadily throughout the novel and it reaches a crescendo to deliver a blockbuster climax. I’ve also heard that this novel isn’t even as good as some of his later Harry Hole thrillers. Well, in that case, I’m gonna read them all because quite honestly, I couldn’t find a single fault with this one.
5/5 from my side. This is how modern crime thrillers should be written.
Added 2nd December 2017