Friday, May 04, 2012

The Leopard

by Jo Nesbø
translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

Harry Hole survived his last case, The Snowman, but hasn’t been working since he caught that frightening serial killer. It will take another equally frightening killer to bring HH back to Norway.

Our story begins with Harry in Hong Kong, and a killer using a most unusual torture device on his Norwegian victims. Harry is brought back to help with the case and soon discovers the name of the gruesome instrument of torture: Leopold’s Apple.

Harry is eager to find the killer and stop the senseless murders, but something is holding him back, and it’s not his alcohol problem. Instead, it is the clash between the Oslo police and Kripos (short for Kriminalpolitisentralen), the central crime unit in Oslo that investigates murder cases affecting the whole country. All of a sudden, both agencies want this case, but for different reasons.

So, Harry sets out to find the killer with limited blessings from the police and no approval from Kripos. He has but one clue to the murders—a fateful weekend of skiing amongst friends, who are now victims. The case is terrifyingly difficult to crack.

Add to that: Harry’s dying father and a possible new love interest. Complications abound, and Harry nearly dies in the process of catching the killer.

Well-paced and suspenseful. My only criticism: maybe a bit too wordy. Not as great as The Snowman.


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