Genre: Crime Novel, Mystery, Thriller
Setting: Norway early 2000s, Norway/Austria/Russia 1942-45
The Redbreast is book number 3 in the Harry Hole series written by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. It follows Harry in his newly promoted position to Inspector, as he tries to track down the illegal purchase of a rare WWII era rifle and find out the purpose of the buyer.
This is technically the third Harry Hole novel, but it starts a new storyline within the series. I was desperate to begin reading these novels because a film based off of Nesbo’s The Snowman is coming out this fall starring Michael Fassbender. I will certainly be going to see it, but I wanted the experience of reading the mystery first. I definitely recommend this book.
The Good: Nesbo has created a surprisingly likable character in the jaded and slightly alcoholic figure of Harry Hole. His sense of humor and recently established love interest help to keep him relatable and sympathetic to readers. I personally enjoyed the double storyline of this novel, how it switched back and forth between the present day and events which took place during WWII. The way the storylines tied together was very compelling and Nesbo has a creative mind, creating an outcome that was still surprising despite for-knowledge of certain characters’ motivations. Nesbo also knows how to create a heavy emotional impact in his story. Without spoiling anything, this isn’t simply a crime novel that allows you to remain completely detached as you watch what fates befall its various characters.
The Bad: Not a lot to say here honestly. Sure Nesbo falls back on certain tropes, but that is what makes the crime genre so beloved to begin with.