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The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo

516UpgT9p9L._SY346_Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case of a young woman who has been found murdered in her flat with a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star behind her eyelid. Having to work alongside his nemesis, Tom Waaler, does not appeal to Harry but as he is already on his last warning, he must overcome his hatred for his fellow detective and rouse himself from his alcoholic state when he realises that a serial killer is stalking Oslo.

The Devil’s Star is the fifth in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series and I can safely say it is my favourite so far. Drinking heavily after becoming estranged from his partner and still trying to come to terms with the circumstances behind his colleague’s death, Harry has been avoiding work like the plague. With the National holidays in full swing, however, and a skeleton staff in operation, his superiors have no option but to call him in to work on the serial killer case. Despite his shortcomings, Harry definitely leads a charmed life, as any other police officer would have been thrown out of the force a long time ago!

There were two main reasons why I liked this book so much, the first being the serial killer plot. I enjoyed reading how Harry worked out the pattern that the killings took as it showed that, although he is struggling with his demons, his investigative skills are second to none and the reason he is still able to operate as an officer. There were several clever moments in this plot, not least when the identity of the killer was revealed. There were also some moments that the squeamish would not enjoy!

The second thing I really enjoyed was the Tom  Waaler storyline which reaches a dramatic conclusion. This particular plot has kept me hooked for the past few books and I was pleased with how Jo Nesbo brought it to an end.

I have read that this series gets better as it progresses and I definitely agree! I can’t wait to read the next one!

An Evening With Jo Nesbo

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend an evening with the multi-million selling author Jo Nesbo. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his most famous creation, Harry Hole, Jo is currently embarking on a UK tour, promoting his latest book, The Thirst.

In an interview with Jake Kerridge, Jo recalled how Harry Hole first came into being. When asked to write about life on the road with his band, he decided that the old adage, ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour’ was true and so used the lengthy flight to Australia to plan out the first Harry novel, The Bat. His love for his native Oslo is apparent when he speaks and so it was not too long before his books were being set in the Norwegian capital. It could be argued that Harry Hole is now one of Norway’s biggest exports although he does, according to Jo, have a rival in the Norwegian cheese knife!

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His new book The Thirst is, literally, one of Harry’s most blood thirsty cases, dealing with clinical vampirism. A serial killer is stalking the dating app, Tinder, in order to find victims whose blood he can drink. When asked if he’d consulted convicted murderers to aid his research, Jo revealed that he had spoken to a couple but had never been able to use anything in his books. He also spoke about the end of the Harry Hole series which may come fairly soon.

One of the most interesting parts of the evening was when he discussed The Redbreast  his favourite self-written book. This book, set partly during World War Two, had some of its inspiration thanks to Jo’s father’s involvement in the war, fighting on the side of the Germans whilst his mother was part of the resistance in Norway.

One of the biggest laughs came as he talked about his pride in seeing strangers on aeroplanes reading his books, unaware that the author was sitting next to them. He also is known for signing people’s books when he spots them on an unattended sun lounger on the beach. I wonder how many people have been furious when discovering that someone had written on their book, unaware that it was actually Jo’s signature!

The Thirst is available to buy now.

 

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