Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Phantom by Jo Nesbo

by Jo Nesbo

Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Also available as an eBook

I first fell in love with Jo Nesbo when I read The Leopard last year, and immediately read all the other Harry Hole books in the series.

We can thank Stieg Larsson for turning North America on to Scandinavian writers, and in my opinion Nesbo is the very best. He writes a gripping, complex mystery that grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. His detective, Harry Hole, puts the agony in protagonist. He goes down the rabbit hole of murder and intrigue while barely surviving his own demons. Truly he is the most tortured of heroes, and the most complicated.

Phantom is his magnum opus, in my opinion. The best in the series. I was affected for days after I read it and haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Harry is back in Oslo after three years in Hong Kong. Oleg, his long love Rakel's son and the closest he has had to a son of his own, has been arrested in a drug-related murder. Oleg's mother is happy to see Harry back, but she is the only one. Harry's personal investigation into Oleg's arrest leads him down into the shadowy world of street drugs and organized crime. This book is the most personal and the grittiest of the series, and the most brilliant. Nesbo refers to it as the darkest and grimmest. I'm still reeling.

Watch an interview with Jo Nesbo on his newest book Phantom!

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