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16 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Achievement . . . Pay Close Attention
"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...
Published on Feb. 13 2010 by Donald Mitchell

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ØVERATED
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...
Published on Jan. 10 2012 by NeuroSplicer


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Achievement . . . Pay Close Attention, Feb. 13 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars and 5 more, Feb. 10 2007
By 
Dave and Joe (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Redbreast (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Captivating, Dec 16 2011
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Redbreast (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. I found it hard to grasp at first there were a lot of seemingly unrelated events happening at a rapid pace, I wondered where all the pieces of the puzzle fit, but gradually the pattern took shape and the confusing flashbacks suddenly became clear as the thrill of the mystery escalated.

This police procedural novel is one of the most captivating and compelling stories I have read in a long time. I am hooked on this series and I am looking forward to reading "'Nemesis"'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ØVERATED, Jan. 10 2012
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Redbreast (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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Redbreast by Jo nesbo., Feb. 28 2014
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Great book and fully recommended, it should be noted that I am a big Jon Nesbo fan. this book keeps you guessing all of the time and is full of surprises. The story spans the 2nd World War on the Eastern Front and Oslo in the 60's and 70's. The usual interesting Nesbo characters led by Harry Hole ;Nesbo's Leading detective in the Oslo police Force.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Major work by one of the finest mystery writers of today!!, Dec 19 2013
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Superb example of the Nordic fiction so deservedly popular today.
His works are all a surprise at the end, never quite guessed till it's over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Few Twists and Turns in this One, May 30 2013
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Redbreast (Mass Market Paperback)
For a first novel, Nesbo's 'The Redbreast' offers a reader everything he or she might want in a psychological thriller: an intricate and well-managed plot, well-honed characters, some well-timed surprises and, most importantly, an authenticity that helps them relate to the complex and chilling world of Nordic crime. On the first score, Nesbo takes his readers through a real maze of a plot that moves in and out of Norway with abandonment and verve. It moves back and forth between generations as the past catches up with the present. It starts with the murder of a Nazi sympathizer and goes on to become an intricately dangerous and deadly search for a killer who likely suffers from a multi-personal disorder. Like a lot of Nesbo's novels, the protagonist and hero, Police Inspector Harry Hole, will get drawn into the storyline through the most peculiar and unintended circumstances. While we know the basic identity of the villain, we only learn how he truly plies his evil trade and why he is hard to bring to heel. There is a bigger story that needs to be established before the truth finally comes out. Nesbo is a master at providing just enough forensic clues to whet the readers' need to know the motive behind these senseless killings and sustain their patience in sticking with the hunt. Complicating the issue is the fact that Harry Hole's personal life will invariably become wrapped up in the facts of the case. After all, Hole, as one of those rare caring creatures, possesses an extraordinary compassion for the weak and vulnerable in this world that goes well beyond the call of duty. For someone getting started on Nesbo, this novel is an obvious no-brainer. It shows a writer prepared to offer his readers the bigger picture of humanity in his stories: a wide range of interplays involving unresolved issues, latent emotions, evolving conflicts, and increased understanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Redbreast, Feb. 25 2013
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This review is from: The Redbreast (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Getting used to some of the names was hard at first but once I got used to this I let the story take over and found the book hard to put down. The characters themselves and the well developed plot won the day. I can and have recommend this book to all who love mystery and intrigue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Story, Jan. 9 2013
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This review is from: The Redbreast (Mass Market Paperback)
Very well written story and will be looking for more of the harry hole novels in the future. Was difficult to put down!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as twisting, Sept. 3 2012
By 
Flora (Toronto, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Redbreast (Mass Market Paperback)
I found this book not as good as the books written after it. Though I read the series backwards, it did address one characters and how she came into the story. In Nesbo's other books I was always excited that there was a twist in the story that I could not predict. All in all, it is was decent book. I look forward to read The Bat when it comes in.
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The Redbreast
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 30 2011)
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