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The Redbreast: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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The Redbreast Mass Market Paperback – Aug 30 2011

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 563 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Mm); Reprint edition (Aug. 30 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062068423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062068422
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Shifting effortlessly between the last days of WWII on the Eastern front and modern day Oslo, Norwegian Nesbø (The Devil's Star) spins a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. A recovering alcoholic recently reassigned to the Norwegian Security Service, Insp. Harry Hole begins tracking Sverre Olsen, a vicious neo-Nazi who escaped prosecution on a technicality. But what starts as a quest to put Olsen behind bars soon explodes into a race to prevent an assassination. As Hole struggles to stay one step ahead of Olsen and his gang of skinheads, Nesbø takes the reader back to WWII, as Norwegians fighting for Hitler wage a losing battle on the Eastern front. When the two story lines finally collide, it's up to Hole to stop a man hell-bent on carrying out the deadly plan he hatched half a century ago in the trenches. Perfectly paced and painfully suspenseful, this crime novel illuminates not only Norway's alleged Nazi ties but also its present skinhead subculture. Readers will delight in Hole, a laconic hero as doggedly stubborn as Connelly's Harry Bosch, and yet with a prickly appeal all his own. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“An elegant and complex thriller . . . Ingenious design. . . . Harrowingly beautiful scenes.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Certainly ranks with the best of current American crime fiction.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Reading THE REDBREAST is like watching a hit movie. Author Jo Nesbo’s scenes are so vivid that you can imagine them playing across the big screen. The pacing is swift. The plot is precise and intricate. The characters are intriguing.” (USA Today)

“Exciting, witty, melancholy and thought-provoking.” (Daily Telegraph (London))

“Paced to grip and twiddle with your insides, this is a fine thriller.” (Sunday Sport)

“Original…demands concentration but it’s worth the effort.” (Literary Review)

“Shifting effortlessly between the last days of WWII on the Eastern front and modern day Oslo, Norwegian Nesbø spins a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. . . . Perfectly paced and painfully suspenseful.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“[A] bold, ambitious thriller.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 13 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"So every man of Israel deserted David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri.
But the men of Judah, from the Jordan as far as Jerusalem, remained loyal to their king."

-- 2 Samuel 20:2

This is one of my very favorite police procedural stories, beautifully enriched by a deep dive into a part of the history of World War II that's not well known outside of Norway.

What does it mean to be loyal? That's the overall theme of this book and Mr. Nesbo provides some pretty interesting fictional food for self-examination. As you read this book, put yourself in the place of each character and ask yourself what you would do.

Harry Hole is that most useful of all detectives, one who is human . . . oh so human, so that we step back from admiring the detective to be astonished by the echoes of vivid reality portrayed for us. As a reader, it can be terribly easy to underestimate this book. True writing craft doesn't show its care, and Mr. Nesbo is astonishingly good at making a brilliant story seem like just so much ordinary potatoes until the cymbals clap together and jolt you into jaw-dropping amazement at what you've just read.

This is the first Harry Hole book I've read, and I can hardly wait to read the next one. The Redbreast ends in such a way that the possibilities for future plots are enhanced . . . rather than restricted by the events in this remarkable story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 16 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
1st book translated into English but the 3rd in the Harry Hole series.

This is a complex Norwegian thriller, a fabulous modern day mystery influenced by captivating and informative flashbacks from events and roles Norwegians were forced into during WW11.

The story begins with Harry Hole, the protagonist, a gifted policeman, who caused his department a high profile embarrassment and was subsequently relegated to surveillance work monitoring neo-Nazi activities, a punishment Harry quickly turns into a new challenge.

Harry''s speculative mind and acquired skills are just what is needed when word on the street surfaces that someone in the underworld is looking for a very particular vintage sniper rifle. He knows he is on the right track when a former Nazi sympathiser is found silenced with his throat cut and victims of the vintage sniper rifle start to accumulate. From the very first the reader follows the path that Harry takes and also the path the sniper takes, creating a unique suspense, a proverbial high gear cat and mouse game .

The tale''s WW11 tread slowly interweaves into the main as the pages go by. This is a page-turner at its best with narratives that move between Harry's present day inquiries and the Eastern front in 1944, where a small group of Norwegian Nazis with their own agenda are fighting alongside the Germans and at some point switch their allegiance to Russia and become part of the Resistance.

The plot is a gripping tale of political intrigue, love and a serial killer with multiple personalities. This fairly long novel is character driven, a rich creation brilliantly composed with every key stroke.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dave and Joe TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 10 2007
Format: Paperback
Sometimes being in a wheelchair is cool. Rolling down the aisle of a bookstore and having this cover at eye level. It jumped out at me so I picked it up and read the back. What a discovery! This book defies all conventions, it is rivetting and unpredictable. A murder mystery that spans generations - a historical drama and a modern who-dun-it. Great characters, get ready for a rip roaring read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Toronto Tommy on March 9 2007
Format: Paperback
I read Jack Batten's review of the book in The Toronto Star, and decided to pick up the Redbreast and The Devil's Star for my vacation "beach" read. Well, in fact, it was such a great read, I can't even classify it as a throw away beach read. You want to know more about the main character, Harry Hole; you hate him, feel sorry for him, love him, all at the same time. I'd like to get my hands on some of the preceeding books to find out more about why he is the way he is. If you are reading the books read the Redbreast first, then the Devil's Star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 10 2012
Format: Paperback
Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy made Scandinavian crime fiction hip again. So, in the wake of his success (and the vacuum created by his untimely death in 2004), Jo Nesbo was brought in to fill the empty spotlight. With only mixed results, I am afraid.

I decided to start with REDBREAST because it is the first book of his Harry Hole series that has been translated in English (although there had been two books previous to this one in Norwegian - and there are references to the hero's previous cases). The story may be a standalone but the character development suffers from this truncation.

The story of REDBREAST steps on two timelines that slowly converge. One is the story of a group of young Norwegian Nazis fighting on the side of the Germans during WWII. The other is a mess of a police story where a mistake prone Harry Hole stumbles onto a case of the import of a vintage (and extremely expensive) sniper rifle and then manages to fumble most clues and miss a number of opportunities to solve the mystery long before its climax.

I am not going to continue with any more books by this writer. The narration feels forced, with a number of mood-killing reality TV references, predictable stereotypes and one-page chapters. What is worse, the characters are both underdeveloped and internally inconsistent. Nesbo is clearly not in Larsson's league.

I gave the book an extra star for cantor. When the Germans themselves try to squiggle out of their national shame of supporting Nazism (not to mention still avoiding paying their WWII debts), it was brave for Nesbo to admit that the majority of Norwegians in the 1940's indeed supported the National Socialists and were willing collaborators of Hitler's vision.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book does not justify the admission price.
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