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Nemesis (Harry Hole Series #4)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Gritty European Police Series Continues

In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, Nesbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.

Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as w...
In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, Nesbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.

Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as well as his new love relationship and the death of his partner, finds himself caught up in trying to solve a murderous bank robbery while trying to convince his superiors that his partner's death is - contrary to their belief - still unsolved and that he should be allowed to pursue an investigation into it.

This is a compelling entry in the series, with rich characterizations and impeccable plotting.

The only thing that readers should be aware of is that the novels of the series published in English thus far have been translated and published out of sequence; this is actually the second book of the series, though it's come out in English third, and the plot line about his partner's murder was resolved in the third book - which was actually the second (last) one published in English (The Devil's Star)) Did you follow that?

If so, dig in and enjoy.

posted by Brian_Baker on February 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Just Okay

This book has gotten some rave reviews and I hate to knock it but I didn't get it. I followed along as Harry Hole (the investigator) tries to deal with his personal life and the work (solving a bank robbery). Maybe, it was the translation from Norwegian that lost me. ...
This book has gotten some rave reviews and I hate to knock it but I didn't get it. I followed along as Harry Hole (the investigator) tries to deal with his personal life and the work (solving a bank robbery). Maybe, it was the translation from Norwegian that lost me. Everyone else who has reviewed it felt the drama and the suspense of this character driven novel, but I didn't. I read it to the end, but will not pick up Jo Nesbo's next book.

posted by grumpydan on March 9, 2009

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    Maybe a bad translation?

    I've seen great reviews for Jo Nesbo, but I couldn't make it through this book. The story never became interesting, and the writing was equally dull, at times nonsensical. A couple scenes left me wondering if years had passed or a few hours. A dog lunges at a man's throat but bites him on the neck instead. What does that even mean? I suspect the translation is at fault, but I wish I hadn't purchased this.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    not as good as i expected

    I loved The Girl w/ the Dragon Tattoo, the Girl Who Played with Fire, and have just started reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, all by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. My boss, who travels a lot and happens to be Greek (which may be completely irrelevant to this post, but whatevs), also loves these books and knows that I love them. So, he handed me this book, "Nemesis", and told me I'm going to just love it.

    Huh. Can I tell my boss he's wrong without risking my job? ;)

    I didn't love it. Nesbo has a different writing style than Larsson; it's more choppy and harsh. Maybe the translation from Norwegian to English messed up the flow of the narrative, but it was also hard to keep all of the events straight. Not only did I have to keep up with the main event of the bank robbery, but so many other little stories were happening at the same time that I got confused. I'm sure Mr. Nesbo was trying to be suspenseful, but he only succeeded in adding wrinkles to my forehead.

    And I wasn't a fan of Harry Hole. Some reviewers saw him as a "bad-ass cop", but I see him more as a cop stumbling his way through the case not really knowing what he was doing or where he was going. One section he was working on the robberies. The next section he was investigating his lover's suicide. He didn't really seem to have a focus. I understand he was an alcoholic, though he didn't really do anything about that either, since he still drank despite this issue.

    I guess it just wasn't my type of book. I normally do love mysteries and thrillers but this one just didn't catch my interest the way that others do.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2014

    Sometimes I feel as though I¿m genetically hardwired to be a con

    Sometimes I feel as though I’m genetically hardwired to be a contrarian. Not because I actually like being different than everyone else or going against popular opinion, nor do I actually want to stand on the mountaintop and scream “All you bastards are wrong.” Because let’s face it, it’s easy to follow everyone else, to march in line and in step, even if it sometimes means you’re headed for a cliff or the occasional mountain lion. Nor do I get some sort of sick, demented pleasure from bashing other authors and other people’s books, because I’m right there in the trenches with you, buddy. Not necessarily holding your hand, but we’re in the same foxhole, staring out at the same battlefield, and trying to make heads or tails of the opposition. Not that writing is a war, but it sometimes feels that way, to get those pesky words down on paper, and then actually have others get behind the words that you have written, until they make them their own.

    So what does all of this mean for NEMESIS? Well, if you’re looking at the date I started this novel (by the way, that is not a misprint), and the day I finished it (that’s not a misprint either), there’s a massive gap between the two. Where I know I had plenty of fun, and most of this fun was had while not reading said novel. Does that mean it’s badly written? No, absolutely not. But it felt repetitive and redundant, and I was never fully engaged in the story. To be honest, it wasn’t even really all that close of a call. But I wanted to be engaged, I wanted to be fully invested, and I wanted to like this story, because so many others have called it a great and wondrous read with high ratings and glowing reviews. But I just can’t consider myself one of them. Maybe I was built with a different set of Legos.

    You see, the characters resembled emotionless pits; the dialogue felt trite and pedestrian; the plot plunked along like a Corvette ambling down the train tracks on a Sunday afternoon, to the point that I had to reread the back cover copy to figure out what it was I had just finished; and I ended up so lost within the twists and turns of the story that I forgot where the heck I even was.

    If I were to sum up this novel, I’d say it made me want to kick Justin Bieber. Which isn’t that much different from how I normally feel. What I really want to find is the novel that makes me want to hug the Biebs. I’m thinking it’s not possible, but I’m going to continue to hold out hope that it’s out there somewhere, and I will continue to expend energy looking for it.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Posted February 20, 2013

    I've read a lot of Nesbo's books most of which I enjoy. This one

    I've read a lot of Nesbo's books most of which I enjoy. This one missed the mark for me. I hope readers who have read this as their FIRST of his books will give The Snowman a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Not recomended

    Thought it would be good but i was confused most of the time and there were so many errors it got hard to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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