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Editor’s Note

“An uncatchable bank robber…”

An uncatchable bank robber and a mysterious suicide form the heart of this complex thriller from one of the masters of Scandinavian crime fiction. Nesbø’s wild twists will keep you guessing until the final pages.
Justin K.
Scribd Editor

Gripping and surprising, Nemesis is a nail-biting thriller from one of the biggest stars in crime fiction.

Grainy closed-circuit television footage shows a man walking into an Oslo bank and putting a gun to a cashier's head. He tells the young woman to count to twenty-five. When the robber doesn't get his money in time, the cashier is executed, and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace. Police Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case.

While Hole's girlfriend is away in Russia, an old flame decides to get in touch. Former girlfriend and struggling artist Anna Bethsen invites Hole to dinner, and he can't resist a visit. But the evening ends in an all too familiar way as Hole awakens with a thundering headache, a missing cell phone, and no memory of the past twelve hours. That same morning, Anna is found shot dead in her bed. Hole begins to receive threatening e-mails. Is someone trying to frame him for this unexplained death? Meanwhile, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery.

As the death toll continues to mount, Hole becomes a prime suspect in a criminal investigation led by his longtime adversary Tom Waaler and Waaler's vigilante police force. Racing from the cool, autumnal streets of Oslo to the steaming villages of Brazil, Hole is determined to absolve himself of suspicion by uncovering all the information needed to crack both cases. But the ever-threatening Waaler is not finished with his old archenemy quite yet.

*Edgar Nominee for Best Novel of the Year

Topics: Norway, Brazil, Old Flames, Gritty, Ominous, Murder, Gypsies, Alcoholism, Police, Bank Robberies, Guilt, Revenge, Suicide, Norwegian Author, Scandinavian Author, Adultery, and Siblings

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 6, 2009
ISBN: 9780061984587
List price: $7.99
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Harry Hole Nesbo's hero is in the mould of many others - but the story is well written & translated. Good plot line. Decided I now need to read all the rest of the series...read more
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Harry Hole and the Bank Robber! Sounds like a kid‘s adventure story. I was a big fan of “The Redbreast” and this is the follow-up, featuring tough, Norwegian cop Hole, (actually pronounced Who-La), on the trail of a very crafty and deadly hold-up guy.This is a dense thicket of frame-ups, murder, infidelities and intrepid police work, with the undercurrents of Harry’s struggles with alcohol, relationships and various other demons. This is a good story, although it does get a bit convoluted, it is still one I recommend and a series I look forward to continuing.read more
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Unlike a zebra in a cow barn, Harry Hole is a detective that stands out in a crowd. Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s style has you drawn into the story before you even know what is happening. His characters struggle with life, relationships and personnel downfalls making all very believable. The plot is deceptively simple with twist and turns. The action has its readers in Oslo, Norway to Brazil as Harry follows the trail to capture the criminal. This mystery book will have you guessing all the way and in the end hungry for more.read more
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I read this book as it was billed as the next Stieg Larsson. I did enjoy the book very much. I felt that it jumped about quite a bit and I had to re-read to make sure I hadn't missed bits. The ending was quite a surprise.I will read more of his books.read more
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This is the first book I read from this author, and I really enjoyed it; the pace is fast, and the plot is fairly complex, but the author does an amazing thing- he guides the reader along through all the difficult plotlines and explains everything so there's no unanswered questions. I have never read anything quite like it ever.Jo Nesbo's works are hard to find in English, and as of this writing only three Harry Hole books are available in the United States: "The Redbreast", "The Devil's Star", and this book. Hopefully, all nine stories of the series and all his stand-alone books will be available soon. In England, Jo Nesbo is tagged as "The next Stieg Larson", but in my opinion, Nesbo's writing is far superior than anything Larson wrote.read more
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A bank robbery connects to the detective's ex-lover's suicide. Very clever.read more
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Well written, all the right ingridients for police thriller - but just too many twists. This is really three separate mysteries rolled into one novel.read more
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my first book by this author. really good. engaging. you care for the character. cannot wait to read more by himread more
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A much better book than the first. It drives me on to read more Harry Hole.read more
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Wow. It's about the only word that you can use to describe this book. Part of the Harry Hole series, the only problem with any of these books is that they have been translated completely out of series order, so if you started with the first available here - The Devil's Star then the sequence of events in Harry's personal and professional life have been out of kilter. Doesn't matter. Just accept that stuff happened before that book, and read the rest of them, if you have to - although now you can get hold of The Redbreast which is one of the earlier ones. If you haven't read the series - start with The Redbreast, then The Devil's Star and then Nemesis - and then anything else that they publish. (There are other, earlier books, and a couple more to come later in the series and Nesbo is still writing).But a little more on NEMESIS - as this was a for pleasure read in conjuction with some online reading companions at Murder and Mayhem, I won't do a full formal review. The book starts out in a shocking way - a bank robbery occurs, a hostage dies and just for a moment you think Harry's been in the bank. Rapidly an investigation team is pulled together and we're introduced to a new character - a Video Analysis expert - a woman with instant recall of faces - Beate is the daughter of a dead cop. As Harry and Beate form a working partnership that allows them both to be a little different, a little outside the norm of the rest of the investigation team, Harry is still more than willing to go it alone if he needs to. Especially when an ex-girlfriend of his is found shot dead.As with a number of crime books I've read recently, there are elaborate connections to be drawn between all of the participants in this story, but these connections aren't forced or used as a simplistic plot device. There are also some beautiful touches of humour built into this book - scathing in some places, gentle and kind in others. There are also elements of historical information built in - the plight of the gypsies in European history, including World War II. The events around World War II have been frequently referred to in many Scandinavian crime fiction books - and I think it's that element of investigating and discussing society in general, that really appeals to me. Alongside the philosophy and contemplation that seems to be a given - there are observations of human nature, of the nature of being that are completely absorbing and really very thought provoking.But if the sign of a truly exciting, interesting and engaging book is firstly how quickly 474 pages just wizz by and then how often you're reading snippets out loud to anybody else in the house - then on those two factors alone, NEMESIS is an outstanding book.read more
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Strong, but not as good as the Leopard. I am all askew in this series, so need to get a handle on the order of the series.read more
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I was told Nesbo stood between Henning Mankell and Steig Larsson and was happy to discover he leans toward the former. Harry Hole is the best thing since Kurt Wallander and I intend to get to know him well! I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the increasingly popular Scandinavian crime genre.read more
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This book is impossible to summarize. The story is incredibly intricate and several cases intertwine with each other. The back of my paperback copy gives a plot outline which really only deals with the second half of the book. Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective and he is called onto a case involving a bank robbery where a hostage is killed in cold blood. Later on he receives a call for a date from an old flame and wakes up the next morning remembering nothing only to find out she was murdered sometime that evening. These two cases take the forefront and many, many things twist and turn before the final outcome. I love a mystery that I cannot guess whodunit before the reveal. I had my guesses but they were wrong.While the plot and the story is intense the characterization is wonderful. Harry is a flawed man, a recovering alcoholic with a great relationship in progress. He is not exactly everybody's favourite at the station as he has his own way of doing things and often disregards procedure.Jo Nesbo has, I think, finally crossed the line between mystery and literature. While a great crime novel it is also a beautifully written and deeply profound story of characters. I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more from Nesbo. I just wish they would publish the series in the order it was written. So far they have published the English translations in this order #5, #3, #4 and #6 will published in English later this year. Recommended!read more
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Messy plot and clunky style (perhaps due to the translation) - far below my expectations.read more
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Nemisis is the book that follows The Redbreast and it is another great thriller from Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author that many call Norway's finest crime writer. I recommend Nesbo's books to anyone who loved the Stieg Larson millennium series.Detective Inspector Harry Hole is assigned to investigate a bank robbery while his girlfriend is away in Russia fighting for custody of her child. Harry also visits an old flame, Anna. After dinner at her flat, Harry wakes up at home with a blinding headache and no memory of the evening. Anna is found dead of a gunshot wound.While fighting his own demons, alcohol and his obsession with finding the killer of a former colleague and friend, Harry investigates both Anna's death and the continuing bank robberies.Highly recommended.read more
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I would say that this is as close to the perfect crime thriller that you will get. An intricate plot so not necessarily for the casual reader, great characters with some lovely personlaity flaws, an ongoing problem for the main character and at least two crimes to solve at the same time. There is no shortage of excitement. Sure you will find yourself at times flicking back a few pages to check a couple of details but the author knows exactly where he is taking the story and the plot never feels contrived. Every time I read one of these books I am itching to read the next in the series straight away.read more
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Nicely handled continuation of the story started in Red Breast, interjecting new crimes to solve and mysteries to unravel along the way. It took me an exceptionally long time to read this, though I'm not exactly sure why. I liked the writing, and the plot arcs which led Harry Hole on a convoluted path to sorting our wrong-doers. I have the next translated in the Oslo Triology (The Devil's Star) though I believe there was is actually another book between the two in the original Norwegian, and will get to it shortly. Am recounting below, some extraneous remarks that formed status updates for this book.When my husband was reading the book, he was delighted to find that Nesbø has put more exacting details about the coffee making into the story. (ie last book, they made coffee with some beans freshly ground; this book tells the type of grinder -- Rancilio, which for coffee geeks is a true thumbs up.)Then, later, he turned to me and asked the name of the other Nordic author I'd just finished reading."James Thompson" I replied."Ha! Thought so! One of the characters in this book is reading a book by Jim Thompson."Easter egg!read more
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Norwegian police detective, Harry Hole, is assigned to investigate a bank robber who told a cashier to give him money before he counts to twenty-five. He doesn't get his money on time so kills the cashier and escapes with the money.Harry is one of the best investigaorys on the staff. He's a recovering alcoholic whose actions remind this reader of "Dirty Harry." He's rough, uncouth and not very well liked.However, his boss, Bjarne Moller likes him and tries to accomodate him.While Harry's girlfriend is out of the country, he gets a call from Anna, an old flame. She invites him to dinner and the next thing Harry remembers is walking up the next morning with no recolation of the last few hours.His boss asks him to come to the scene of a suicide and sends a car for him. When they arrive at the scene, Harry realizes that he's at Anna's apartment. Although all the signs point to suicide, Harry is doubtful. Then he begins to get threatening e-mails.The novel is fast paced with enjoyable and believable characters. It is interesting to see the workings of the Norwegian police department. The author also provides a number of inteligent plot twists that add to the fun of the novel.read more
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This is my third Harry Hole novel and I did enjoy it although I found, much like "Redbreast," that I was ahead of Harry annoyingly early. That said, Nesbo is a master at weaving various threads together and it is always a pleasure to follow the pattern. One of his strengths in the past was to subtlely highlight Norwegian society but that wasn't present this time, the effect of the attack on the World Trade Centre being the only running social comment and that wasn't mirrored in any way in the plot. There is over-reliance on coincidence across many levels albeit that tends to be the nature of the beast of crime fiction. It doesn't really distract.read more
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This mystery / psychological thriller is a page turner featuring Harry Hole the flawed Norwegian detective and his partner Beate Lonn, in a convoluted race to track down a bank robber or robbers who have committed more than one murder in the execution of their crimes. A complex story centered on revenge with surprising plot twists that rivet the reader's attention. This is the second book in Jo Nesbo's series, released in English, and it is recommended that Redbreast, the first in the translated series, be read for an earlier introduction of Harry.read more
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Not as good as The Snowmanread more
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Harry Hole is a detective in Oslo in a follow-up to REDBREAST. There are several storylines running. Harry is still trying to find out who killed Ellen, his partner, a case his boss deems a time-waster since the alleged killer was already shot and killed. When a bank robbery takes the life of a teller, Beate Lonn, a video specialist who just graduated from the Police College, is called in to analyze the video. Meanwhile Anna Bethsen, an artist and old flame of Harry’s, calls him. Soon twelve hours of his life are missing and Anna is found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide. But Harry’s cell phone is missing and he has a key to Anna’s apartment. He doesn’t believe Anna would commit suicide and when the M.E. finds a picture in her shoe, Harry feels it’s a clue to who might have killed Anna. Raskal, Anna’s uncle, is in prison and might hold a key to Anna’s past as well as some insight into the top bank robbers in Oslo. But any information from him isn’t free. Harry tries to cover his relationship with Anna but his archenemy on the force, Waaler, would love to bring Harry down a peg or two as Harry’s cover-up starts to unravel. These cases are all interlocked in Harry’s life, and although he still hasn’t solved Ellen’s murder, he is closing in on the real killer. Another top notch thriller and another series to be added to my “don’t miss” list.read more
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I honestly didn't guess what was going on, but didn't feel that the author cheated by withholding information. Yay!read more
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Nemesis is my second foray (after The Redbreast) into the series featuring Harry Hole. I have to say that I really like Harry -- he's refreshing as a policeman. I also really like this author's work and I'm just sad that more of these have not yet been translated into English. As the book opens, Harry is watching a video of a bank robbery in which a teller is killed because she's not fast enough in getting the robber the money. The perpetrator gets away clean, leaving no evidence behind but the video, which he has obviously prepared for. Harry teams up with Beate Lonn, another police officer, who has a gift for remembering faces, to solve the mystery. But Harry's got a bit more on his plate. To begin with, he's eagerly awaiting the return of his new girlfriend, Rakel, who's ex-husband in Moscow has decided he wants custody of their son Oleg. He is invited by an ex-girlfriend, Anna, to have dinner, and makes the mistake of going. Later, Anna turns up dead, and the police rule that she took her own life. However, Harry's not so sure, but the problem is, he can't remember anything that happened the night he was there and must tread carefully on ice that is thinning quickly -- someone knows what happened and is taunting Harry with emails that tell him so. The two storylines keep the reader busy, and provide great entertainment while doing so. I REALLY enjoyed this book and cannot wait to get my hands on another one by this author. I love the characters; Nesbo makes them all totally real. Yes, a lot of the crime solving is based on coincidence, but this man can write and he can write well so I don't really care. He's one of my favorite Scandinavian mystery writers, one I think that people like myself who enjoy a good, well-written and intelligent mystery should read.read more
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Lately I've been reading a fair amount of Scandinavian crime fiction. This one like the others is very interesting. Fast paced interesting crime, dark. My only gripe on this book is that the author may have tried to cram to many mysteries into one book. I'll read more of his work and see if it becomes clearer.read more
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The complexity of this Norwegian crime fiction is a work of art and certain to keep you at the edge of your seat. A bank robbery turns to murder and a joint police team is formed to help identify the masked murderer. Studying the surveillance video, the team are baffled and worried as a series of bank robberies with similar MOs take place across Oslo, but without anyone getting killed. As if trying to identify and find the perpetrator of this crime wasn't enough, another death takes place, unrelated to the bank jobs, and the victim is someone near and dear to Inspector Harry Hole's heart. What adds to his distress is the fact that he had had dinner with the victim on the night that she died, but he has no memory of the evening, except that he had apparently blacked out from having had too many drinks and somehow managed to make his way home. Is someone trying to manipulate Harry and someone else trying to set him up?From here, events start to spin in multiple directions for Harry, taking his search out of Oslo to Brazil as he scrambles to gain control of his life, protect the ones he loves, investigate the death of his previous partner and keep himself from being arrested. Nesbo has put together an amazing complex web of characters, plots and sub-plots, giving us puzzles within puzzles to ponder and just when we think a puzzle's solved, another twist appears to sweep us off to another thrilling direction.read more
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The second (I think) in the Harry Hole series. Nesbo continues to plot complex narratives set against a gloomy Oslo landscape. There are several ongoing crimes plus one from the first book that have to be resolved. While Harry's ongoing relationship with Rakel is backburned (while she is in Moscow resolving the custody issue of her son, he gets entangled with an old girlfriend who winds up dead (of course!). Harry is a prime suspect in her death and there are some who are happy to have him implicated. All the while he is trying to solve a grisly bank robbery/murder with a new associate, Beate (who has the uncanny, perhaps too convenient, ability to remember every face she's ever seen). Gypsies, brotherly rivalry, red herrings--lots to keep track of. Most is satisfactorily resolved; always good to keep a few loose threads to pick up in the next book....read more
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After being blown away by the intricacy and originality of The Redbreast, I was disappointed by this next outing by Jo Nesbo. In my opinion, this one was beyond intricate and original -- it was convoluted and implausible.Set against the backdrop of immediate post-9/11 calls for vengeance, reaching Inspector Harry Hole in Norway via the world news, the ultimate theme of this book is the human thirst for revenge. In some ways, it was very satisfying too see how Nesbo worked with this theme. But there were problems. There were really two main threads in this story -- one initiated by a bank robbery shooting, one by the suspicious death of one of Harry's old flames. The first thread, I really liked felt was quite well done. The second was the one I didn't like. While it was extremely clever and it fit the theme of the book perfectly, I eventually found it to be too implausible. There is also a third thread about a corrupt colleague, continued from the previous book, which continues to be interesting. Of course, there are eventually places where the threads come together to form a coherent story. But there were so many twists and turns and blind alleys, I kind of lost my way.Let me be honest and add one disclaimer -- one of my least favorite standard plots in all of literature is that of someone being framed for a crime. Early on in this story, I could smell a setup coming, so I was wary of this book from the start.I give Nesbo credit for high-quality writing, cleverness, and for keeping me turning pages to see how it would all turn out, even during the parts I didn't like at all. But, ultimately, this one didn't work very well for me. But there was enough merit here to keep me reading on in the series.read more
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It is a busy Friday afternoon in October in Oslo. The bank robber is wearing a boiler suit and a balaclava, and is brandishing a gun. He whispers instructions to the female cashier for the ATM to be opened and unloaded. Less than 90 seconds later she is dead, executed. The aging, frantic bank manager has taken too long to open the ATM and the gunman carries out his threat to kill her, despite the fact that he now has the money, two million kroner. He then disappears without trace into the crowded street.It's been a year since Detective Harry Hole's partner Ellen Gjelten was killed, and Harry has rejoined the Crime Squad and is part of the team investigating the bank murder. A newcomer to the squad is an expert in gaining information from video footage. In the course of the investigation she becomes Harry's new partner.The Harry Hole we first met in THE DEVIL'S STAR and then again in REDBREAST is dealing with his alcoholism and has been semi-successful in giving up smoking. Just now though, he's on his own, because his girlfriend Rakel and her young son have gone to Russia to fight a custody battle. Harry accepts an invitation to coffee from an old flame Anna, and then finds himself at home without any recollection of how he got there. Then he hears that Anna is dead. Harry is not at all sure that he might not have killed her, although the police investigation concludes suicide.When the bank robbery investigation is stalled, it is decided to try a new tack. Harry and his new partner Beate will be allowed to work on their own. This suits Harry down to the ground as he feels stifled by having to follow orders. A break through leads them to believe they know who the bank robber is. Nevertheless they still need proof and the bank robberies continue - but are they the real thing, or copy-cats?The remarkable thing for me about NEMESIS is that just when you believe everything is stitched up, Nesbo reminds you of something you forgot, and roller coaster ride takes off again. The other thing that I noticed is that I have a much better idea of what Harry looks like than I did after the earlier two novels - that is probably a bit trivial, but it is also very satisfying. I also liked Harry's new partner Beate Lonn and the relationship that is building between them.Harry Hole is not just a Norwegian version of the other "modern" loose cannons in crime fiction: Rankin's John Rebus, Wingfield's Jack Frost, and Mankell's Kurt Wallander to name few. Sure he shares some of their problems - the alcoholism, tobacco addiction, poor social relationships, and a workaholic to boot. But, at just under 40, he is younger than them, with much of his career before him, and for me each novel is defining him more clearly.NEMESIS is the 3rd of Jo Nesbo's highly acclaimed novels to be translated from Norwegian into English and it is well worth while to try to read them in order. Just to make things tricky, look for THE DEVIL'S STAR and then REDBREAST (this is not their translation order). You will see from Nesbo's own website that there are in fact many more Harry Hole books - let's just hope we see them in English. He is certainly a crime fiction writer to treasure. [Visit his website too and read extracts in English, or sign up for his newsletter]read more
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Nemesis is in part a meditation on revenge and retribution. As Norwegian Detective Harry Hole says to a fellow police officer, "Revenge and retribution. That’s the driving force for the midget who was bullied at school and later became a multi-millionaire, and the bank robber who thinks he has been short-changed by society. And look at us. Society’s burning revenge disguised as cold, rational retribution – that’s our profession, isn’t it.”Indeed, as Harry discovers, it was the Greek goddess named Nemesis who was the goddess of revenge, an act considered to be punishment by some, but implacable justice by others. The imposition of revenge in both its senses is the main theme of this book.The story concerns a string of bank robberies in Oslo including a murder during one of them, committed by an expert in the elimination of any clues. Some additional murders seem related, if by nothing else than by the unusual choice of guns used to commit them. When Harry Hole is on a case, nothing is predictable, and the story feels like a wild ride to an unexpected conclusion. And yet, when you think back on it, the crimes are only a vehicle for the character developments, even though they sneak up on you behind the excitement of the chase.Discussion: This is book two in the Detective Harry Hole series that have been translated (the two earliest books have not been translated), which English readers were, prior to this year, forced to read in order of translation rather than in the logical progression written by the author. As much as I hated reading the out of order, I thought this book was the best of all of them, so it worked out fine for me in the end.Harry Hole is a detective either loved or loathed by his co-workers. Fortunately, his boss, Bjarne Moller, is one of Harry’s fans, even though he finds Harry to be an “alcoholic obstreperous, stubborn bastard.” He considers Harry a troublemaker and an arrogant bullhead, but one of his best investigators. It’s a cost-benefit ratio with which Moller grudgingly abides.Harry is not thought of as blatantly handsome, but he seems to exude a great deal of sex appeal, and women in these books quickly come to overlook Harry's other lapses.It is in this book that we get to know most of the other “regulars” in the series as well. We meet Beate Lonn, a fellow officer who has a knack for facial recognition, and with whom Harry immediately bonds. We learn of the growing interest in Beate shown by Harry’s officemate, Halverson, and the growing treachery of another of Harry’s colleagues, Tom Waaler. And we see Harry’s struggles to stay in a monogamous relationship with his new love Rakel, currently in Russia fighting for custody of her young son Oleg. All of these plot strands will reappear in later books, and it was fun, illuminating, and in some instances bittersweet to revisit these characters back in the beginning.Evaluation: Nesbo’s books are intelligent, complicated, and immensely rewarding as a reading experience. There isn’t one in the Harry Hole series I wouldn’t recommend. But if you have the opportunity to read them in order, it will be much less confusing, and there won’t be missing gaps in your appreciation of how events have turned out. I found Nemesis to be the least “standalone-esque” in this regard.read more
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Harry Hole Nesbo's hero is in the mould of many others - but the story is well written & translated. Good plot line. Decided I now need to read all the rest of the series...
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Harry Hole and the Bank Robber! Sounds like a kid‘s adventure story. I was a big fan of “The Redbreast” and this is the follow-up, featuring tough, Norwegian cop Hole, (actually pronounced Who-La), on the trail of a very crafty and deadly hold-up guy.This is a dense thicket of frame-ups, murder, infidelities and intrepid police work, with the undercurrents of Harry’s struggles with alcohol, relationships and various other demons. This is a good story, although it does get a bit convoluted, it is still one I recommend and a series I look forward to continuing.
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Unlike a zebra in a cow barn, Harry Hole is a detective that stands out in a crowd. Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s style has you drawn into the story before you even know what is happening. His characters struggle with life, relationships and personnel downfalls making all very believable. The plot is deceptively simple with twist and turns. The action has its readers in Oslo, Norway to Brazil as Harry follows the trail to capture the criminal. This mystery book will have you guessing all the way and in the end hungry for more.
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I read this book as it was billed as the next Stieg Larsson. I did enjoy the book very much. I felt that it jumped about quite a bit and I had to re-read to make sure I hadn't missed bits. The ending was quite a surprise.I will read more of his books.
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This is the first book I read from this author, and I really enjoyed it; the pace is fast, and the plot is fairly complex, but the author does an amazing thing- he guides the reader along through all the difficult plotlines and explains everything so there's no unanswered questions. I have never read anything quite like it ever.Jo Nesbo's works are hard to find in English, and as of this writing only three Harry Hole books are available in the United States: "The Redbreast", "The Devil's Star", and this book. Hopefully, all nine stories of the series and all his stand-alone books will be available soon. In England, Jo Nesbo is tagged as "The next Stieg Larson", but in my opinion, Nesbo's writing is far superior than anything Larson wrote.
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A bank robbery connects to the detective's ex-lover's suicide. Very clever.
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Well written, all the right ingridients for police thriller - but just too many twists. This is really three separate mysteries rolled into one novel.
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my first book by this author. really good. engaging. you care for the character. cannot wait to read more by him
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A much better book than the first. It drives me on to read more Harry Hole.
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Wow. It's about the only word that you can use to describe this book. Part of the Harry Hole series, the only problem with any of these books is that they have been translated completely out of series order, so if you started with the first available here - The Devil's Star then the sequence of events in Harry's personal and professional life have been out of kilter. Doesn't matter. Just accept that stuff happened before that book, and read the rest of them, if you have to - although now you can get hold of The Redbreast which is one of the earlier ones. If you haven't read the series - start with The Redbreast, then The Devil's Star and then Nemesis - and then anything else that they publish. (There are other, earlier books, and a couple more to come later in the series and Nesbo is still writing).But a little more on NEMESIS - as this was a for pleasure read in conjuction with some online reading companions at Murder and Mayhem, I won't do a full formal review. The book starts out in a shocking way - a bank robbery occurs, a hostage dies and just for a moment you think Harry's been in the bank. Rapidly an investigation team is pulled together and we're introduced to a new character - a Video Analysis expert - a woman with instant recall of faces - Beate is the daughter of a dead cop. As Harry and Beate form a working partnership that allows them both to be a little different, a little outside the norm of the rest of the investigation team, Harry is still more than willing to go it alone if he needs to. Especially when an ex-girlfriend of his is found shot dead.As with a number of crime books I've read recently, there are elaborate connections to be drawn between all of the participants in this story, but these connections aren't forced or used as a simplistic plot device. There are also some beautiful touches of humour built into this book - scathing in some places, gentle and kind in others. There are also elements of historical information built in - the plight of the gypsies in European history, including World War II. The events around World War II have been frequently referred to in many Scandinavian crime fiction books - and I think it's that element of investigating and discussing society in general, that really appeals to me. Alongside the philosophy and contemplation that seems to be a given - there are observations of human nature, of the nature of being that are completely absorbing and really very thought provoking.But if the sign of a truly exciting, interesting and engaging book is firstly how quickly 474 pages just wizz by and then how often you're reading snippets out loud to anybody else in the house - then on those two factors alone, NEMESIS is an outstanding book.
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Strong, but not as good as the Leopard. I am all askew in this series, so need to get a handle on the order of the series.
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I was told Nesbo stood between Henning Mankell and Steig Larsson and was happy to discover he leans toward the former. Harry Hole is the best thing since Kurt Wallander and I intend to get to know him well! I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the increasingly popular Scandinavian crime genre.
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This book is impossible to summarize. The story is incredibly intricate and several cases intertwine with each other. The back of my paperback copy gives a plot outline which really only deals with the second half of the book. Harry Hole is a Norwegian detective and he is called onto a case involving a bank robbery where a hostage is killed in cold blood. Later on he receives a call for a date from an old flame and wakes up the next morning remembering nothing only to find out she was murdered sometime that evening. These two cases take the forefront and many, many things twist and turn before the final outcome. I love a mystery that I cannot guess whodunit before the reveal. I had my guesses but they were wrong.While the plot and the story is intense the characterization is wonderful. Harry is a flawed man, a recovering alcoholic with a great relationship in progress. He is not exactly everybody's favourite at the station as he has his own way of doing things and often disregards procedure.Jo Nesbo has, I think, finally crossed the line between mystery and literature. While a great crime novel it is also a beautifully written and deeply profound story of characters. I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more from Nesbo. I just wish they would publish the series in the order it was written. So far they have published the English translations in this order #5, #3, #4 and #6 will published in English later this year. Recommended!
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Messy plot and clunky style (perhaps due to the translation) - far below my expectations.
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Nemisis is the book that follows The Redbreast and it is another great thriller from Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author that many call Norway's finest crime writer. I recommend Nesbo's books to anyone who loved the Stieg Larson millennium series.Detective Inspector Harry Hole is assigned to investigate a bank robbery while his girlfriend is away in Russia fighting for custody of her child. Harry also visits an old flame, Anna. After dinner at her flat, Harry wakes up at home with a blinding headache and no memory of the evening. Anna is found dead of a gunshot wound.While fighting his own demons, alcohol and his obsession with finding the killer of a former colleague and friend, Harry investigates both Anna's death and the continuing bank robberies.Highly recommended.
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I would say that this is as close to the perfect crime thriller that you will get. An intricate plot so not necessarily for the casual reader, great characters with some lovely personlaity flaws, an ongoing problem for the main character and at least two crimes to solve at the same time. There is no shortage of excitement. Sure you will find yourself at times flicking back a few pages to check a couple of details but the author knows exactly where he is taking the story and the plot never feels contrived. Every time I read one of these books I am itching to read the next in the series straight away.
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Nicely handled continuation of the story started in Red Breast, interjecting new crimes to solve and mysteries to unravel along the way. It took me an exceptionally long time to read this, though I'm not exactly sure why. I liked the writing, and the plot arcs which led Harry Hole on a convoluted path to sorting our wrong-doers. I have the next translated in the Oslo Triology (The Devil's Star) though I believe there was is actually another book between the two in the original Norwegian, and will get to it shortly. Am recounting below, some extraneous remarks that formed status updates for this book.When my husband was reading the book, he was delighted to find that Nesbø has put more exacting details about the coffee making into the story. (ie last book, they made coffee with some beans freshly ground; this book tells the type of grinder -- Rancilio, which for coffee geeks is a true thumbs up.)Then, later, he turned to me and asked the name of the other Nordic author I'd just finished reading."James Thompson" I replied."Ha! Thought so! One of the characters in this book is reading a book by Jim Thompson."Easter egg!
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Norwegian police detective, Harry Hole, is assigned to investigate a bank robber who told a cashier to give him money before he counts to twenty-five. He doesn't get his money on time so kills the cashier and escapes with the money.Harry is one of the best investigaorys on the staff. He's a recovering alcoholic whose actions remind this reader of "Dirty Harry." He's rough, uncouth and not very well liked.However, his boss, Bjarne Moller likes him and tries to accomodate him.While Harry's girlfriend is out of the country, he gets a call from Anna, an old flame. She invites him to dinner and the next thing Harry remembers is walking up the next morning with no recolation of the last few hours.His boss asks him to come to the scene of a suicide and sends a car for him. When they arrive at the scene, Harry realizes that he's at Anna's apartment. Although all the signs point to suicide, Harry is doubtful. Then he begins to get threatening e-mails.The novel is fast paced with enjoyable and believable characters. It is interesting to see the workings of the Norwegian police department. The author also provides a number of inteligent plot twists that add to the fun of the novel.
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This is my third Harry Hole novel and I did enjoy it although I found, much like "Redbreast," that I was ahead of Harry annoyingly early. That said, Nesbo is a master at weaving various threads together and it is always a pleasure to follow the pattern. One of his strengths in the past was to subtlely highlight Norwegian society but that wasn't present this time, the effect of the attack on the World Trade Centre being the only running social comment and that wasn't mirrored in any way in the plot. There is over-reliance on coincidence across many levels albeit that tends to be the nature of the beast of crime fiction. It doesn't really distract.
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This mystery / psychological thriller is a page turner featuring Harry Hole the flawed Norwegian detective and his partner Beate Lonn, in a convoluted race to track down a bank robber or robbers who have committed more than one murder in the execution of their crimes. A complex story centered on revenge with surprising plot twists that rivet the reader's attention. This is the second book in Jo Nesbo's series, released in English, and it is recommended that Redbreast, the first in the translated series, be read for an earlier introduction of Harry.
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Not as good as The Snowman
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Harry Hole is a detective in Oslo in a follow-up to REDBREAST. There are several storylines running. Harry is still trying to find out who killed Ellen, his partner, a case his boss deems a time-waster since the alleged killer was already shot and killed. When a bank robbery takes the life of a teller, Beate Lonn, a video specialist who just graduated from the Police College, is called in to analyze the video. Meanwhile Anna Bethsen, an artist and old flame of Harry’s, calls him. Soon twelve hours of his life are missing and Anna is found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide. But Harry’s cell phone is missing and he has a key to Anna’s apartment. He doesn’t believe Anna would commit suicide and when the M.E. finds a picture in her shoe, Harry feels it’s a clue to who might have killed Anna. Raskal, Anna’s uncle, is in prison and might hold a key to Anna’s past as well as some insight into the top bank robbers in Oslo. But any information from him isn’t free. Harry tries to cover his relationship with Anna but his archenemy on the force, Waaler, would love to bring Harry down a peg or two as Harry’s cover-up starts to unravel. These cases are all interlocked in Harry’s life, and although he still hasn’t solved Ellen’s murder, he is closing in on the real killer. Another top notch thriller and another series to be added to my “don’t miss” list.
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I honestly didn't guess what was going on, but didn't feel that the author cheated by withholding information. Yay!
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Nemesis is my second foray (after The Redbreast) into the series featuring Harry Hole. I have to say that I really like Harry -- he's refreshing as a policeman. I also really like this author's work and I'm just sad that more of these have not yet been translated into English. As the book opens, Harry is watching a video of a bank robbery in which a teller is killed because she's not fast enough in getting the robber the money. The perpetrator gets away clean, leaving no evidence behind but the video, which he has obviously prepared for. Harry teams up with Beate Lonn, another police officer, who has a gift for remembering faces, to solve the mystery. But Harry's got a bit more on his plate. To begin with, he's eagerly awaiting the return of his new girlfriend, Rakel, who's ex-husband in Moscow has decided he wants custody of their son Oleg. He is invited by an ex-girlfriend, Anna, to have dinner, and makes the mistake of going. Later, Anna turns up dead, and the police rule that she took her own life. However, Harry's not so sure, but the problem is, he can't remember anything that happened the night he was there and must tread carefully on ice that is thinning quickly -- someone knows what happened and is taunting Harry with emails that tell him so. The two storylines keep the reader busy, and provide great entertainment while doing so. I REALLY enjoyed this book and cannot wait to get my hands on another one by this author. I love the characters; Nesbo makes them all totally real. Yes, a lot of the crime solving is based on coincidence, but this man can write and he can write well so I don't really care. He's one of my favorite Scandinavian mystery writers, one I think that people like myself who enjoy a good, well-written and intelligent mystery should read.
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Lately I've been reading a fair amount of Scandinavian crime fiction. This one like the others is very interesting. Fast paced interesting crime, dark. My only gripe on this book is that the author may have tried to cram to many mysteries into one book. I'll read more of his work and see if it becomes clearer.
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The complexity of this Norwegian crime fiction is a work of art and certain to keep you at the edge of your seat. A bank robbery turns to murder and a joint police team is formed to help identify the masked murderer. Studying the surveillance video, the team are baffled and worried as a series of bank robberies with similar MOs take place across Oslo, but without anyone getting killed. As if trying to identify and find the perpetrator of this crime wasn't enough, another death takes place, unrelated to the bank jobs, and the victim is someone near and dear to Inspector Harry Hole's heart. What adds to his distress is the fact that he had had dinner with the victim on the night that she died, but he has no memory of the evening, except that he had apparently blacked out from having had too many drinks and somehow managed to make his way home. Is someone trying to manipulate Harry and someone else trying to set him up?From here, events start to spin in multiple directions for Harry, taking his search out of Oslo to Brazil as he scrambles to gain control of his life, protect the ones he loves, investigate the death of his previous partner and keep himself from being arrested. Nesbo has put together an amazing complex web of characters, plots and sub-plots, giving us puzzles within puzzles to ponder and just when we think a puzzle's solved, another twist appears to sweep us off to another thrilling direction.
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The second (I think) in the Harry Hole series. Nesbo continues to plot complex narratives set against a gloomy Oslo landscape. There are several ongoing crimes plus one from the first book that have to be resolved. While Harry's ongoing relationship with Rakel is backburned (while she is in Moscow resolving the custody issue of her son, he gets entangled with an old girlfriend who winds up dead (of course!). Harry is a prime suspect in her death and there are some who are happy to have him implicated. All the while he is trying to solve a grisly bank robbery/murder with a new associate, Beate (who has the uncanny, perhaps too convenient, ability to remember every face she's ever seen). Gypsies, brotherly rivalry, red herrings--lots to keep track of. Most is satisfactorily resolved; always good to keep a few loose threads to pick up in the next book....
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After being blown away by the intricacy and originality of The Redbreast, I was disappointed by this next outing by Jo Nesbo. In my opinion, this one was beyond intricate and original -- it was convoluted and implausible.Set against the backdrop of immediate post-9/11 calls for vengeance, reaching Inspector Harry Hole in Norway via the world news, the ultimate theme of this book is the human thirst for revenge. In some ways, it was very satisfying too see how Nesbo worked with this theme. But there were problems. There were really two main threads in this story -- one initiated by a bank robbery shooting, one by the suspicious death of one of Harry's old flames. The first thread, I really liked felt was quite well done. The second was the one I didn't like. While it was extremely clever and it fit the theme of the book perfectly, I eventually found it to be too implausible. There is also a third thread about a corrupt colleague, continued from the previous book, which continues to be interesting. Of course, there are eventually places where the threads come together to form a coherent story. But there were so many twists and turns and blind alleys, I kind of lost my way.Let me be honest and add one disclaimer -- one of my least favorite standard plots in all of literature is that of someone being framed for a crime. Early on in this story, I could smell a setup coming, so I was wary of this book from the start.I give Nesbo credit for high-quality writing, cleverness, and for keeping me turning pages to see how it would all turn out, even during the parts I didn't like at all. But, ultimately, this one didn't work very well for me. But there was enough merit here to keep me reading on in the series.
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It is a busy Friday afternoon in October in Oslo. The bank robber is wearing a boiler suit and a balaclava, and is brandishing a gun. He whispers instructions to the female cashier for the ATM to be opened and unloaded. Less than 90 seconds later she is dead, executed. The aging, frantic bank manager has taken too long to open the ATM and the gunman carries out his threat to kill her, despite the fact that he now has the money, two million kroner. He then disappears without trace into the crowded street.It's been a year since Detective Harry Hole's partner Ellen Gjelten was killed, and Harry has rejoined the Crime Squad and is part of the team investigating the bank murder. A newcomer to the squad is an expert in gaining information from video footage. In the course of the investigation she becomes Harry's new partner.The Harry Hole we first met in THE DEVIL'S STAR and then again in REDBREAST is dealing with his alcoholism and has been semi-successful in giving up smoking. Just now though, he's on his own, because his girlfriend Rakel and her young son have gone to Russia to fight a custody battle. Harry accepts an invitation to coffee from an old flame Anna, and then finds himself at home without any recollection of how he got there. Then he hears that Anna is dead. Harry is not at all sure that he might not have killed her, although the police investigation concludes suicide.When the bank robbery investigation is stalled, it is decided to try a new tack. Harry and his new partner Beate will be allowed to work on their own. This suits Harry down to the ground as he feels stifled by having to follow orders. A break through leads them to believe they know who the bank robber is. Nevertheless they still need proof and the bank robberies continue - but are they the real thing, or copy-cats?The remarkable thing for me about NEMESIS is that just when you believe everything is stitched up, Nesbo reminds you of something you forgot, and roller coaster ride takes off again. The other thing that I noticed is that I have a much better idea of what Harry looks like than I did after the earlier two novels - that is probably a bit trivial, but it is also very satisfying. I also liked Harry's new partner Beate Lonn and the relationship that is building between them.Harry Hole is not just a Norwegian version of the other "modern" loose cannons in crime fiction: Rankin's John Rebus, Wingfield's Jack Frost, and Mankell's Kurt Wallander to name few. Sure he shares some of their problems - the alcoholism, tobacco addiction, poor social relationships, and a workaholic to boot. But, at just under 40, he is younger than them, with much of his career before him, and for me each novel is defining him more clearly.NEMESIS is the 3rd of Jo Nesbo's highly acclaimed novels to be translated from Norwegian into English and it is well worth while to try to read them in order. Just to make things tricky, look for THE DEVIL'S STAR and then REDBREAST (this is not their translation order). You will see from Nesbo's own website that there are in fact many more Harry Hole books - let's just hope we see them in English. He is certainly a crime fiction writer to treasure. [Visit his website too and read extracts in English, or sign up for his newsletter]
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Nemesis is in part a meditation on revenge and retribution. As Norwegian Detective Harry Hole says to a fellow police officer, "Revenge and retribution. That’s the driving force for the midget who was bullied at school and later became a multi-millionaire, and the bank robber who thinks he has been short-changed by society. And look at us. Society’s burning revenge disguised as cold, rational retribution – that’s our profession, isn’t it.”Indeed, as Harry discovers, it was the Greek goddess named Nemesis who was the goddess of revenge, an act considered to be punishment by some, but implacable justice by others. The imposition of revenge in both its senses is the main theme of this book.The story concerns a string of bank robberies in Oslo including a murder during one of them, committed by an expert in the elimination of any clues. Some additional murders seem related, if by nothing else than by the unusual choice of guns used to commit them. When Harry Hole is on a case, nothing is predictable, and the story feels like a wild ride to an unexpected conclusion. And yet, when you think back on it, the crimes are only a vehicle for the character developments, even though they sneak up on you behind the excitement of the chase.Discussion: This is book two in the Detective Harry Hole series that have been translated (the two earliest books have not been translated), which English readers were, prior to this year, forced to read in order of translation rather than in the logical progression written by the author. As much as I hated reading the out of order, I thought this book was the best of all of them, so it worked out fine for me in the end.Harry Hole is a detective either loved or loathed by his co-workers. Fortunately, his boss, Bjarne Moller, is one of Harry’s fans, even though he finds Harry to be an “alcoholic obstreperous, stubborn bastard.” He considers Harry a troublemaker and an arrogant bullhead, but one of his best investigators. It’s a cost-benefit ratio with which Moller grudgingly abides.Harry is not thought of as blatantly handsome, but he seems to exude a great deal of sex appeal, and women in these books quickly come to overlook Harry's other lapses.It is in this book that we get to know most of the other “regulars” in the series as well. We meet Beate Lonn, a fellow officer who has a knack for facial recognition, and with whom Harry immediately bonds. We learn of the growing interest in Beate shown by Harry’s officemate, Halverson, and the growing treachery of another of Harry’s colleagues, Tom Waaler. And we see Harry’s struggles to stay in a monogamous relationship with his new love Rakel, currently in Russia fighting for custody of her young son Oleg. All of these plot strands will reappear in later books, and it was fun, illuminating, and in some instances bittersweet to revisit these characters back in the beginning.Evaluation: Nesbo’s books are intelligent, complicated, and immensely rewarding as a reading experience. There isn’t one in the Harry Hole series I wouldn’t recommend. But if you have the opportunity to read them in order, it will be much less confusing, and there won’t be missing gaps in your appreciation of how events have turned out. I found Nemesis to be the least “standalone-esque” in this regard.
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