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The Redbreast (Harry Hole Series #3)

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
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(49)

4 Star

(33)

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(22)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Thank you, Joe Queenan

I know the author of "Redbreast" is not Joe Queenan; I am thanking Mr. Queenan for his recognition of Scandinavian writers as a fresh voice in the mystery/crime fiction genre. Spot-on.
The non-spoiler summary:
A few good cops, some with some bad habits, are pitted aga...
I know the author of "Redbreast" is not Joe Queenan; I am thanking Mr. Queenan for his recognition of Scandinavian writers as a fresh voice in the mystery/crime fiction genre. Spot-on.
The non-spoiler summary:
A few good cops, some with some bad habits, are pitted against office politics (and office politicians, as well as some not-so-good cops) while trying to catch a skilled killer with quite a bit of method, and history, to his madness.
The substance:
Jo Nesbo (don't know how to do the o-slash) is a solid but creative writer with the instinct to tell a real, honest-to-goodness human story that draws readers in without insulting their intelligence by weighing them down with unnecessary details. About halfway through the book, I had to smile at the writing skill - it's been awhile since I've read a story constructed as thoughtfully as this one. "Redbreast" has (enough) surprises to keep the reader intrigued, and although the material doesn't use the accepted U.S. standards for action, romance, or drama, Nesbo blends the perfect recipe of all three into an underlying plot related to one of the main characters.

posted by 1356237 on May 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

24 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

badly written nonsense

This book begins with, and the plot turn on, a case of mistaken identity with agents guarding dignitaries. It has the hero, Harry Hole, checking his .38 caliber revolver and then checking for the two 'magazines' for the gun. revolvers do not have magazines. Then he c...
This book begins with, and the plot turn on, a case of mistaken identity with agents guarding dignitaries. It has the hero, Harry Hole, checking his .38 caliber revolver and then checking for the two 'magazines' for the gun. revolvers do not have magazines. Then he checks the safety. Revolvers do not have safeties. Then he runs toward a person in a toll booth and worries that his weapon will penetrate the 'light ballistic' vests of the Secret Service. 'light ballistic' vests will easily stop a 38 caliber round. Then he opens fire and penetrates the heavy glass of a toll booth with that .38 caliber revolver; unlikely.
And the suspect he fires at is alone. I've worked presidential security details. No one, repeat no one, is ever deployed alone.
So the book starts off with utter nonsense and goes very quickly south with purple prose, Hardy boy dialog and characters and generally little to pull it out of the hole -- you'll excuse the pun -- of the first few chapters. If you're a young adult and utterly indifferent to accuracy in your thrillers, this might be a book for you. I'd pass and save the money, were I you.

posted by edofarrell on April 19, 2010

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    badly written nonsense

    This book begins with, and the plot turn on, a case of mistaken identity with agents guarding dignitaries. It has the hero, Harry Hole, checking his .38 caliber revolver and then checking for the two 'magazines' for the gun. revolvers do not have magazines. Then he checks the safety. Revolvers do not have safeties. Then he runs toward a person in a toll booth and worries that his weapon will penetrate the 'light ballistic' vests of the Secret Service. 'light ballistic' vests will easily stop a 38 caliber round. Then he opens fire and penetrates the heavy glass of a toll booth with that .38 caliber revolver; unlikely.
    And the suspect he fires at is alone. I've worked presidential security details. No one, repeat no one, is ever deployed alone.
    So the book starts off with utter nonsense and goes very quickly south with purple prose, Hardy boy dialog and characters and generally little to pull it out of the hole -- you'll excuse the pun -- of the first few chapters. If you're a young adult and utterly indifferent to accuracy in your thrillers, this might be a book for you. I'd pass and save the money, were I you.

    24 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    Great detective fiction from the North

    Those long winter nights must evoke creative juices, because Scandinavian detective thrillers are a terrific genre. Knowing several of the popular Swedish series, I had until recently not heard about Norway's Nesbo, but I'm happy that's changed. He manages to weave together several major stories, with unanticipated twists and turns, linking past and present mysteries over several decades, and in the process he tosses in a dose of Norwegian history that is as interesting as the rest of his story.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    Thank you, Joe Queenan

    I know the author of "Redbreast" is not Joe Queenan; I am thanking Mr. Queenan for his recognition of Scandinavian writers as a fresh voice in the mystery/crime fiction genre. Spot-on.
    The non-spoiler summary:
    A few good cops, some with some bad habits, are pitted against office politics (and office politicians, as well as some not-so-good cops) while trying to catch a skilled killer with quite a bit of method, and history, to his madness.
    The substance:
    Jo Nesbo (don't know how to do the o-slash) is a solid but creative writer with the instinct to tell a real, honest-to-goodness human story that draws readers in without insulting their intelligence by weighing them down with unnecessary details. About halfway through the book, I had to smile at the writing skill - it's been awhile since I've read a story constructed as thoughtfully as this one. "Redbreast" has (enough) surprises to keep the reader intrigued, and although the material doesn't use the accepted U.S. standards for action, romance, or drama, Nesbo blends the perfect recipe of all three into an underlying plot related to one of the main characters.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intelligent, complex and compelling.

    A complicated combination of characters is introduced to us when they are young and reintroduced to us over 50 years later. I admit to being confused more than once until I started to see how the author uses this devise to keep the reader off balance. Once I thought I had it figured out...bam...Nesbo quickly pulled the rug from under my feet.

    The translator does a wonderful job. too. The phrasing in natural and the characters, although sometimes hard to keep straight, are very believable.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    A thriller spanning 60 years.

    A mystery/thriller involving neo-Nazis and their ties to Norway's involvement in WWII. The novel itself jumps back and forth in time, giving pertinent clues to the reader while immersing them in 2 separate stories tied together. This may sound more daunting than it is-- by the time the story reaches its climax it all makes sense. The characters draw you in with their human qualities-- the only issue I had was occasionally losing track of some of them due to my unfamiliarity of Norwegian names. There is a sequence of answering machine messages in the novel that really drew me in to the main character, Harry Hole-- he truly felt like a real person.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    TWISTED AND INTENSE

    This is my second book by Jo Nesbo. In The Readbreast, he had the skils to conceive a story blending the high beating pulse of an international thriller mixed with the intrigue of the hard boiled. Fast paced, suspenseful, entertaining and with an arrray of similar characters and ingenious twists and turns, The Readbreast will not disappoint readers, who will have to make an intellectual effort so as not to get lost in the story who looks confusing with purpose, it leaves some unsolved issues for a sequel. After having finished it, I now feel compelled to go and read all the following Nesbo published books. He shows he is a cultivated, smart and sly author.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Excellent vacation read

    Well written - great beach book with enough thrills to convince me to special order Nesbo's other books

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2012

    highly recommend

    Very good. The English translation was sometimes hard to follow, but otherwise a great read. Gave me an interesting view of WWII for Norway. Will read more of his books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Highly recommended for detective/mystery novel enthusiasts

    I have read most of the "Harry Hole" novels and this one of the best. The twists that Nesbo puts into the novel really keep you on the edge of your seat. Hard to put down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    This book is the third book in the Harry Hole series, but the fi

    This book is the third book in the Harry Hole series, but the first of the series to be translated into English. (There are occassional references to earlier events in Harry Hole's police work. It would be nice if the first two books in the series were translated.)

    The Redbreast is definitely a more complex and inventive work than most mystery books. There are three different threads that are being woven together. (The experiences of a group of Norwegian soldiers fighting for the Nazis on the Russian front during WWII; an elderly man who feels that the cause of National Socialism has been been betrayed and seeks vindication during the final year of his life; Harry Hole working to uncover an assassination plot before it materializes.) The complexity can be a challenge, but adds to the depth of the overall work.

    This is the second Jo Nesbo work that I have read. I find him to be a very inventive and creative talent. Well worth reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    Excellent story

    Harry Hole and Oslo come alive in this mystery. Jo Nesbo doesn't hand you the answer - twists and turns make you think about what's happening. I love stories that take place in Scandinavia and this character is right up there with Kurt Wallender.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I liked it.

    I wasn't bothered by storyline going back and forth on the timeline. I found the history of Norwegian SS volunteers interesting. I enjoyed the plot line, the characters - good and bad, and was stunned to have a possible romantic interest abruptly killed. The name Harry Hole is a bit much, but I like the character. Tell me it's not Wallender with an overlay of Rebus. I plan on reading all of the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes It's Just A Puzzle

    After 80 pages, after 100 pages, after 120 pages, I just wanted to give up on this book. I had no idea where it was going. But I had read good things about so I stuck with it. What I learned was that sometimes a puzzle is just a puzzle. It may have more pieces, but when it's put together the picture is the same that you'd see if the puzzle had been simpler. Jo Nesbro creates a detailed plot that jumps back and forth in time and is very cryptic about some of its lead characters. But when I finished it, I didn't feel like I had been challenged as a reader. Nor did I feel enlightened. I had simply been put through a lot of paces that made for a longer story, a more convoluted story, but not a great story. I should have stopped at page 100.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Just didn't get it.

    I think this may be an "artsy-fartsy" book. I just didn't get it. The scene kept shifting in time and place, from way back when to right now ... and I gave it up after about 100 pages. Sorry. Just didn't hit my hot button.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Throughly enjoyed this thriller, unlike "edofarrell"';

    Throughly enjoyed this thriller, unlike "edofarrell"';s review. I also noticed the magazines with a 38 calibre but immediately thought perhaps there was something "missing in the translation". It can't be easy to translate from another language. Myself, I gave it a pass and sure glad I did. Highly recommend.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole getting better and better

    Already a good series with the first two books Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole stories move into the excellent range with The Redbeast

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Recommended if you don't mind long stories

    It is a bit long before I got into the story , but after a certain point, I could not stop reading it. Very well done, thrilling till the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Utterly boring but borrowed

    Norway had heavy water in wwll and also was a refugue despite germans the king wore a star to show it it takes a special talent to write such dull books about interesting events page counter

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  • Posted January 6, 2014

    I was hesitant to buy this book, as I'm sick of politics in all

    I was hesitant to buy this book, as I'm sick of politics in all forms.  However, I found that this book like some other books I've read over time gave me another facet.  The mystery was interesting, and as always Harry keeps me guessing.  I did find myself looking up  the part Norway played in WWII and would not have except for this book,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Great author!

    I have discovered a great storyline and love Jo Nesbo! Interesting cast and information about Oslo! Good read!

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