Knopf. (Harry Hole, Bk. 12). Jul. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9780525655398. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780525655404. THRILLER
In the 12th installment of this best-selling series (after The Thirst), Harry Hole’s life has sunk to a new low. Assigned to work cold cases for the Oslo police, he’s unable to investigate longtime adversary Svein Finne, recently released from prison. Additionally, since separating from his wife, Rakel, he’s started drinking heavily again, so he’s not too shocked when he wakes up covered in blood with no recollection of the evening before. When he’s called about a murder that literally hits close to home, his world is utterly shattered. Harry is forbidden from officially investigating the case, but naturally he finds a way to follow leads and question suspects with the help of his friends. As evidence increasingly points to him, his despair and hopelessness send him into a downward spiral from which he might not emerge.
VERDICT Dark, gritty, and clever, this is quintessential Nesbø, a powerhouse of a storyteller. Familiarity with the characters is beneficial, but not required, to appreciate this well-plotted mystery. Series fans will either love or hate this, but either way it’s a must-read. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/19.]
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