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A Stunning Achievement . . . Pay Close Attention
on February 13, 2010
"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.