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The Redbreast

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo

When a bank raid leaves a cashier dead, Harry Hole is tasked with finding the killer after video expert Beate Lønn realises that the victim seemed to know him. Meanwhile, Harry has been invited to dinner at the home of a former girlfriend, Anna Bethsen, only to wake up the next morning with no recollection of what happened the previous evening. The major problem here is that Anna has been found dead in an apparent suicide although, with the gun in her right hand (Anna was left-handed), Harry feels that this is a staged murder. Soon, Harry finds that there is someone who knows exactly what happened that night and is attempting to pin the murder on him…

Nemesis is the fourth of the Harry Hole series and continues on from the previous novel, The Redbreast. There is one major plot line which will be spoiled if you read this book before The Redbreast, so my advice would be to read that one first. We find that the character of Harry hasn’t changed –  he is still drinking heavily although events in the previous book have certainly given him just cause. His drink problem is exploited in a big way in Nemesis when he can’t remember what happened with Anna. Although the bank raid was probably the biggest part of the book, the apparent suicide was probably my favourite plot line and the ending was ingenious.

My only concern with these books is that I sometimes struggle to remember who each character is as the plots are so multifaceted and, especially with the bank raid, I had to constantly remind myself who was who. I am hoping that, as the series progresses, I will become more accustomed to everyone and the role they play. There is one character, in particular, that once again showed his true colours and I eagerly await him getting his comeuppance!

 

Monthly Round Up: April 2017

Welcome to the second of my monthly ’round ups’. I haven’t been able to read as many books as I would have liked, unfortunately, but I’m hoping to remedy that this coming month!

Books I’ve Read

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh

This was one of those books where I was immediately grabbed by the blurb. Although I did enjoy it, I felt that it had a very slow start and took a while to get going.

 

Dying Games by Steve Robinson51oXpj-8ZIL

The latest of Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte books was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it was not a let-down in the slightest. A fast-paced read containing some very macabre deaths!

 

34500937Dead Souls by Angela Marsons

Has Angela Marsons ever written a bad book?! This is probably the darkest of her Kim Stone series and one that is incredibly thought-provoking. One of my favourite reads of the year so far.

 

CockroachesCockroaches by Jo Nesbo

The second of the Harry Hole books, I found that this one was a big improvement on the previous book as we get more of an insight into Harry’s life and what exactly makes him tick.

 

Last Witness by Carys Jones

The follow-up to Wrong Number is a high octane tale of revenge as the heroine of the story is determined to avenge the murder of her husband. Review will follow on May 7th as part of the book’s blog tour.

 

 

One That Got Away by Annabel Kantaria

A tale of how appearances can be deceiving and how we can never really know what goes on behind closed doors. Annabel’s previous book, The Disappearance, was one of my favourite books of 2016 and this one did not disappoint either. Review will follow closer to the publication date in September 2017.

51ETyWXR--L__SX323_BO1,204,203,200_The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

The third of the Harry hole books sees Harry finally dealing with a case in his native Norway – a case which has strong links to World War Two. My favourite of the series so far.

Books I’ve Acquired

IMG_1072The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. Constance’s mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery,” attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get—because there may be more than one depraved killer out there…

 

51vmfJ4pJiLTHERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS…
A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

HE’S IN YOUR HOUSE… HE’S IN YOUR ROOM
Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case.

HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he’s to finally catch the one who got away.

 

Ava doesn’t believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It’s not grief or denial that causes her scepticism – it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda’s usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin. Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister’s last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin’s making. Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister’s disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple…A clever, twisty, suspense novel for readers of The Ice Twins by S. K Tremayne and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight.

 

Two women. Two versions of the truth.

Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do…

That’s it for another month. I’ve got a few great books on my TBR pile that I hope to read over the next few weeks, and don’t forget to join me on the blog tour for Last Witness by Carys Jones on May 7th when, as well as a review, I will be sharing an extract from the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

Finding himself carrying out surveillance duties after being reassigned, Harry Hole is quite happy spending some time working alone. It is not long, though, before he discovers that a rare high-calibre rifle has been smuggled into the country – one that is favoured by assassins. When a former Nazi sympathiser is found with his throat cut, Harry wonders if there could be a connection between the two occurrences. As the body count rises, it soon becomes apparent that there is someone out there, determined to mete out their own brand of justice. Will Harry be able to find out who he is before more bodies are found?

The Redbreast is the third of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series and is definitely my favourite so far. Indeed, Jo himself, in a recent Q&A session, declared that this is his favourite too. The start of the book is quite harrowing as we are taken back to the trenches of World War Two where a small group of Norwegian soldiers are fighting on the side of the Germans. This section of the book was, at times, a bit confusing but all is explained very clearly in the concluding chapters and is essential in understanding the rest of the plot.

Fast forward over fifty years, and Norway is dealing with a new enemy – the neo-Nazi. Harry and his colleagues must try to find out if there is a connection between the rise of this group and the Marklin rifle that has turned up in the country. Just who is the target of the alleged assassination plot and which of the ex-soldiers is the would-be assassin? From the outset, it was obvious that one of the soldiers mentioned in the opening chapters would be the guilty party but Nesbo has done a good job in throwing you off the scent until the very end.

As seems to be the theme of all of these early books, Harry, once again, has to endure a personal tragedy and so, inevitably turns to drink. Although this case was, to all intents and purposes, resolved, there was still a major part of it that was not – I am sure that this story line will rear its ugly head in one of the following books.

In all, a fascinating read that was a solid mystery story and one that also taught me some aspects of World War two that I did not know too much about.

 

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.

 

Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo

CockroachesAfter his success in Australia, detective Harry Hole is summoned to Thailand to investigate the murder of  the Norwegian ambassador. Found in a seedy hotel, known to be frequented by prostitutes, the ambassador’s family are reluctant to talk and are clearly hiding some secrets of their own. When Harry finds some vital CCTV footage, only for the person who gave it to him disappear, he realises that there may be more to this case than meets the eye.

After being slightly disappointed with The Bat, but being assured that the series gets better, I read Cockroaches with a touch of trepidation. Although I know that this still isn’t one of Jo Nesbo’s most well-liked books, I did enjoy this one a lot more as, unlike the previous book, there was more plot and less filler. The book starts with Harry, again, being sent out to solve a murder in another country, this time one that has the potential to be politically sensitive – a strange appointment seeing as, after events of the previous book, Harry seems intent on drinking himself into oblivion! It is clear that Harry’s personality is starting to emerge and, as a result, I liked him much more than in The Bat.

Dealing with the seedier sides of Thailand, namely prostitution and paedophilia, Cockroaches is, at times, an unpleasant read, and is occasionally fairly graphic. These scenes are vital, however, in helping you to build up a true picture of the circumstances Harry finds himself in. I did find that the plot was occasionally hard to follow as I tried to remember how each character fitted in to the story. As a consequence, I was nowhere near working out who the guilty party was but was happy with the explanation.

Cockroaches is a big improvement on the previous book and I am looking forward to reading The Redbreast next.

 

Monthly Round Up: March 2017

I’ve always been envious of those bloggers who are able to produce a weekly wrap-up of their reading as I know there’s no chance I would be able to fit this in! I have, therefore, decided to start a new feature – my monthly round up!

Books I’ve Read

41bCxzTsx9LThe Bat by Jo Nesbo

The first of the Harry Hole series – a series that I’d been wanting to start for quite a while. This was not a quick read for me and I can understand why fans say it is not one of his best.

 

51GRMUtXmDL

Blood Tide by Claire McGowan

The fifth in the series to feature forensic psychologist Paula McGuire, Blood Tide is an atmospheric thriller that really makes you wonder if anyone can be trusted.

 

61gMJQkjzYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Missing Man by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

A novella featuring Morton Farrier, taking us across the pond to Massachusetts as the forensic genealogist embarks on a search to find his biological father.

 

51BcZVVrpeL__SX324_BO1,204,203,200_Hope to Die by David Jackson

The follow up to the brilliant A Tapping at My Door, Hope to Die sees detective Nathan Cody investigating the murder of a woman in the grounds of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.

 

34368544Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

The online buzz surrounding Robert Bryndza’s books featuring detective Erika Foster just keeps getting bigger and bigger. In Last Breath, we find Erika investigating the deaths of young women who have been found mutilated and cruelly dumped.

 

ARIA_Flint_THE TROPHY TAKER_EThe Trophy Taker by Sarah Flint

No review yet as it will be part of the book’s blog tour, but suffice to say that this story of a serial killer who is removing the heart and finger of his victims has become one of my favourite books of the year so far.

 

Books I’ve Acquired

Cockroaches51ETyWXR--L__SX323_BO1,204,203,200_The next two books in the Harry Hole series. Other reviewers seem to think that the series really gets going during ‘The Redbreast’ so I’m looking forward to reading that one.

 

51mCV12k+uL__SX323_BO1,204,203,200_After seeing this on https://rathertoofondofbooks.com, I couldn’t resist requesting it on Net Galley!

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past she feels sick.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Because Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life knowing herself responsible for Maria’s disappearance. But now Maria is back. Or is she?

As Maria’s messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress, to try to piece together exactly what happened that fateful night. But when another friend’s body turns up in the woods outside their old school, Louise realises she can’t trust anyone and that she must confront her own awful secret to discover the whole truth of what happened to Maria . . .

Love like bloodI’ve loved all of Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne books so was delighted to get this one on Net Galley.

A BLOODY MESSAGE
As DI Nicola Tanner investigates what appears to be a series of organised killings, her partner Susan is brutally murdered, leaving the detective bereft, and vengeful.

A POWERFUL ALLY
Taken off the case, Tanner enlists the help of DI Tom Thorne to pursue a pair of ruthless killers and the broker handing out the deadly contracts.

A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
As the killers target their latest victim, Thorne takes the biggest risk of his career and is drawn into a horrifying and disturbing world in which families will do anything to protect their honour.

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707

I loved the premise of this book – very macabre!

The first body comes as a shock

The second brings horror

The third signals the beginning of a nightmare

When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.

Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.

Then another body appears against the Wall.

And another.

As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.

Who is the Killer on the Wall?

51mYBRRes4L__SX316_BO1,204,203,200_

 

I loved Annabel Kantaria’s last book so knew I had to have this one as soon as I saw it.

Everyone has one. An ex you still think about. The one who makes you ask ‘what if’?

Fifteen years have passed since Stella and George last saw each other. But something makes Stella click ‘yes’ to the invite to her school reunion.

There’s still a spark between them, and although their relationship ended badly, they begin an affair.

But once someone gets you back, sometimes they’re never going to let you go again…

So there you have it – my first monthly round up! Here’s to a great April!

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