Phantom (Harry Hole Series #9)

Phantom (Harry Hole Series #9)

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by Jo Nesbo

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Following from Jo Nesbø's electrifying international best-sellers The Snowman and The Leopard, now comes Phantom, which plunges the brilliant, deeply troubled, now former police officer Harry Hole into a full-tilt investigation on which his own tenuous future will come to depend.

When Harry left Oslo again for Hong

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Following from Jo Nesbø's electrifying international best-sellers The Snowman and The Leopard, now comes Phantom, which plunges the brilliant, deeply troubled, now former police officer Harry Hole into a full-tilt investigation on which his own tenuous future will come to depend.

When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong—fleeing the traumas of life as a cop—he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn't help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city's highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.

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Editorial Reviews

Harry Hole thought that he had left it all behind him. When the former police officer abandoned Oslo for Hong Kong, he was hopeful that his days of trauma were behind him; but there is no avoiding the call the brings him back: Oleg, the boy he had helped raise, has been arrested for murdering a heroin addict. Returning to Norway to clear Rakel's son, he quickly collides with a roadblock. His former cop pals insist that he distance himself from their case. A major novel by an acclaimed master of Nordic fiction. (P.S. Nesbø's The Snowman is slated to become a major 2014 movie with Martin Scorsese directing.)

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Harry Hole Series, #9
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

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Amid the noises of the night in downtown Oslo—the regular drone of cars outside the window, the distant siren that rose and fell and the church bells that had begun to chime nearby—a rat went on the hunt for food. She ran her nose over the filthy linoleum on the kitchen floor. The pungent smell of gray cigarette ash. The sugary-sweet aroma of blood on a piece of cotton gauze. The bitter odor of beer on the inside of a bottle cap, Ringnes lager. Molecules of sulfur, saltpeter and carbon dioxide filtered up from an empty metal cartridge case designed for a nine-by-eighteen- millimeter lead bullet, also called a Makarov, after the gun to which the caliber was originally adapted. Smoke from a still-smoldering cigarette with a yellow filter and blackpaper, bearing the Russian imperial eagle. The tobacco was edible. And there: a stench of alcohol, leather, grease and asphalt. A shoe. She sniffed it. The obstacle lay on its side with its back to the wall blocking the entrance to the nest, and her eight newly born, blind, hairless babies were screaming ever louder for her milk. The mountain of flesh smelled of salt, sweat and blood. It was a human body. A living human being; her sensitive ears could detect the faint heartbeats between her babies’ hungry squeals.

   The church bells were ringing in time with the human heart now. One beat, two. Three, four . . .

   The rat bared her teeth.

July. Shit. It sucks to die in July. Is that really church bells I hear, or were there hallucinogens in the damn bullets? OK, so it stops here. And what difference does it make? Here or there. Now or later. But do I really deserve to die in July? With the birds singing, bottles clinking, laughter from down by the Akerselva and fricking summer merriment right outside the window? Do I deserve to be lying on the floor of an infected junkie pit with an extra hole in my body, as life rushes out of it along with flashbacks of everything that’s led me here? Is that me, is that everything, is that my life? I had plans, didn’t I? And now it’s no more than a bag of dust, a joke without a punchline, so short I could have told it before that insane bell stopped ringing. Shit! No one told me it would hurt so much to die. Are you there, Dad? Don’t go, not now. The joke goes like this: My name’s Gusto. I lived to the age of nineteen. You were a bad guy who screwed a bad woman and nine months later I popped out and got shipped to a foster family before I could say “Da-da.” I caused as much trouble as I could. They just wrapped the suffocating care blanket even tighter and asked me what I wanted. A fricking ice cream? They had no goddamn idea that people like you and me would end up shot, exterminated, that we spread contagion and decay and would multiply like rats if we got the chance. They have only themselves to blame. But they also want things. Everyone wants something. I was thirteen the first time I saw in my foster mother’s eyes what she wanted. 

   “You’re so handsome, Gusto,” she said. She had come into the bathroom—I had left the door open, and hadn’t turned on the shower so that the sound wouldn’t warn her. She stood there for exactly a second too long before going out. And I laughed, because now I knew. That’s my talent, Dad: I can see what people want. Do I take after you? After she left I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. She wasn’t the first to call me handsome. I had developed earlier than the other boys. Tall, tight, already broad-shouldered. Hair so black it gleamed. High cheekbones. Square chin. A big, greedy mouth, but with lips as full as a girl’s. Smooth, tanned skin. Brown, almost black eyes. “The brown rat,” one of the boys in the class called me. Didrik, think that was his name. He was going to be a concert pianist. I’d just turned fifteen, and he said it out loud in class. “That brown rat can’t even read right.”
   I just laughed and, of course, I knew why he’d said it. Knew what he wanted. Kamilla. He was secretly in love with her; she was not so secretly in love with me. At a school dance I copped a feel to see what she had under her sweater. Which wasn’t much. I’d mentioned it to a couple of the boys and Didrik must have picked up on it, and decided to shut me out. Not that I gave a shit about being “in,” but bullying is bullying. So I went to Tutu in the motorcycle club, the bikers. I’d dealt some hash for them at school, and said that I needed some respect. Tutu said he’d take care of Didrik. Later Didrik wouldn’t explain to anyone how he got two fingers caught under the top hinge of the boys’ bathroom door, but he never called me a brown rat again. And—right—he never became a concert pianist, either. Shit, this hurts so much! No, I don’t need any consoling, Dad—I need a fix. One last shot and then I’ll leave this world without a peep, I swear. There goes the church bell again. Dad?


It was almost midnight at Gardermoen, Oslo’s principal airport, as Flight SK-459 from Bangkok taxied into its allocated spot by Gate 46. Captain Tord Schultz braked and brought the Airbus 340 to a complete halt; then he quickly switched off the fuel supply. The metallic whine from the jet engines sank through the frequencies to a good-natured growl before dying. Tord Schultz automatically noted the time, three minutes and forty seconds since touchdown, twelve minutes before the scheduled arrival. He and the first officer started the checklist for shutdown and parking, since the plane was to remain there overnight. With the goods. He flicked through the briefcase containing the log. September 2011. In Bangkok it was still the rainy season and had been steaming hot as usual, and he had longed for home and the first cool autumn evenings. Oslo in September. There was no better place on earth. He filled in the form for the remaining fuel. The fuel bill: He had had to find a way of accounting for it. After flights from Amsterdam or Madrid he had flown faster than was economically reasonable, burning off thousands of kroners’ worth of fuel to make it. In the end, his boss had called him on the carpet.

   “To make what?” he had yelled. “You didn’t have any passengers with connecting flights!”

   “The world’s most punctual airline,” Tord Schultz had mumbled, quoting the advertising slogan.

   “The world’s most economically fucked-up airline! Is that the best explanation you can come up with?”

   Tord Schultz had shrugged. After all, he couldn’t say the reason—that he had opened the fuel nozzles because there was something he himself had to make. The flight he had been put on, the one to Bergen, Trondheim or Stavanger. It was extremely important that he did the trip and not one of the other pilots.

   He was too old for them to do anything else to him but rant and rave. He had avoided making serious errors, the organization took care of him, and there were only a few years left before he reached the two fives, fifty-five, and would be retired, whatever happened. Tord Schultz sighed. A few years to fix things, to avert ending up as the world’s most economically fucked-up pilot.

   He signed the log, got up and left the cockpit to flash his row of pearly-white pilot teeth at the passengers. The smile that would tell them that he was Mr. Confidence in person. Pilot: the professional title that had once made him something in other people’s eyes. He had seen it, how people, men and women, young and old, once the magic word pilot had been enunciated, had looked at him and discovered not only the charisma, the nonchalance, the boyish charm, but also the captain’s dynamism and cold precision, the superior intellect and the courage of a man who defied physical laws and the innate fears of mere mortals. But that was a long time ago. Now they regarded him as the bus driver he was and asked him what the cheapest tickets to Las Palmas were, and why there was more leg room on Lufthansa.

   To hell with them. To hell with them all.

   Tord Schultz stood at the exit next to the flight attendants, straightened up and smiled, said, “Welcome back, miss,” in broad Texan, the way they had learned in flying school at Sheppard. Received a smile of acknowledgment. There had been a time when he could have arranged a meeting in the arrivals hall with such a smile. And indeed had. From Cape Town to Alta. Women. Many women. That had been the problem. And the solution. Women. Many women. New women. And now? His hairline was receding beneath the pilot’s cap, but the tailor-made uniform emphasized his tall, broad-shouldered physique. That was what he had blamed for not getting into fighter jets at flying school, and ending up as a cargo pilot on the Hercules, the workhorse of the sky. He had told them at home he had been a couple of inches too long in the spine, that the cockpits of F-5’s and F-16’s disqualified all but dwarfs. The truth was he hadn’t measured up to the competition. His body was all he had managed to maintain from those times, the only thing that hadn’t fallen apart, that hadn’t crumbled. Like his marriages. His family. Friends. How had it happened? Where had he been when it happened? Presumably in a hotel room in Cape Town or Alta, with cocaine up his nose to compensate for the potency-killing drinks at the bar, and his dick in not such a Welcome-Back-Miss to compensate for everything he was not and never would be.

   Tord Schultz’s gaze fell on a man coming toward him down the aisle. He walked with his head bent, yet still he towered over the other passengers. He was slim and broad-shouldered like himself. Younger, though. Cropped blond hair stood up like a brush. Looked Norwegian, but was hardly a tourist on his way home, more likely to be an expat with the subdued, almost gray tan typical of whites who had spent a long time in Southeast Asia. The indisputably tailor-made brown linen suit gave an impression of quality, seriousness. Maybe a businessman. Thanks to a not- altogether-thriving concern, he traveled economy class. But it was neither the suit nor his height that had caused Tord Schultz’s gaze to fix on this person. It was the scar. It started at the left corner of his mouth and almost reached his ear, like a smile-shaped sickle. Grotesque and wonderfully dramatic.

   “See you.”

   Tord Schultz was startled, but did not manage to respond before the man had passed and was out of the plane. The voice had been rough and hoarse, which together with the bloodshot eyes, suggested he had just woken up.

   The plane was empty. The minibus with the cleaning staff stood parked on the runway as the crew left in a herd. Tord Schultz noticed that the small, thickset Russian was the first off the bus, watched him dash up the steps in his yellow high-visibility vest with the company logo, Solox.

   See you.

   Tord Schultz’s brain repeated the words as he strode down the corridor to the flight crew center.

   “Didn’t you have a little carry-on up top?” asked one of the flight attendants, pointing to Tord’s rolling Samsonite suitcase. He couldn’t remember what her name was. Mia? Maja? At any rate he had fucked her during a stopover once last century. Or had he?

   “No,” Tord Schultz said.

   See you. As in “See you again”? Or as in “I can see you’re looking at me”?

   They walked past the partition by the entrance to the flight crew center, where in theory there was room for a jack- in-the-box customs officer. Ninety-nine percent of the time the seat behind the partition was empty, and he had never—not once in the thirty years he had worked for the airline—been stopped and searched.

   See you.

   As in “I can see you, all right.” And “I can see who you are.”

   Tord Schultz hurried through the door to the center.

As usual, Sergey Ivanov ensured that he was the first off the minibus when it stopped on the tarmac beside the Airbus, and sprinted up the steps to the empty plane. He took the vacuum cleaner into the cockpit and locked the door behind him. He slipped on latex gloves and pulled them up to where the tattoos started, flipped the front lid off the vacuum and opened the captain’s locker. Lifted out the small Samsonite carry-on, unzipped it, removed the metal plate at the bottom and checked the four bricklike one-kilo packages. Then he put them into the vacuum cleaner, pressing them into position between the tube and the large cleaner bag he had made sure to empty beforehand. Clicked the front lid back, unlocked the cockpit door and activated the vacuum cleaner. It was all done in seconds.

   After tidying and cleaning the cabin they ambled off the plane, stowed the light-blue garbage bags in the back of the Daihatsu and went back to the lounge. There were only a handful of planes landing and taking off before the airport closed for the night. Ivanov glanced over his shoulder at Jenny, the shift manager. He gazed at the computer screen that showed arrival and departure times. No delays.

   “I’ll take Bergen,” Sergey said in his harsh accent. At least he spoke the language; he knew Russians who had lived in Norway for ten years and were still forced to resort to English. But when Sergey had been brought in almost two years ago, his uncle had made it clear he was to learn Norwegian, and had consoled him by saying that he might have some of his own talent for picking up languages.

   “I’ve got Bergen covered,” Jenny said. “You can wait for Trondheim.”

   “I’ll do Bergen,” Sergey said. “Nick can do Trondheim.”

   Jenny looked at him. “As you like. Don’t work yourself to death, Sergey.”

   Sergey went to a chair by the wall and sat down. Leaned back carefully. The skin around his shoulders was still sore from where the Norwegian tattooist had been plying his trade. He was working from drawings Sergey had been sent by Imre, the tattooist in the Nizhny Tagil prison, and there was still quite a bit left to do. Sergey thought of the tattoos his uncle’s lieutenants, Andrey and Peter, had. The pale-blue strokes on the skin of the two Cossacks from Altai told of their dramatic lives and great deeds. But Sergey had a feat to his name as well. A murder. It was a little murder, but it had already been tattooed in the form of an angel. And perhaps there would be another murder. A big one. If the necessary became necessary, his uncle had said, and warned him to be ready, mentally prepared, and to keep up his knife practice. A man was coming, he had said. It wasn’t absolutely certain, but it was probable.


   Sergey Ivanov regarded his hands. He had kept the latex gloves on. Of course it was a coincidence that their standard work gear also ensured that he would not leave any fingerprints on the packages if things should go wrong one day. There wasn’t a hint of a tremble. His hands had been doing this for so long that he had to remind himself of the risk now and then to stay alert. He hoped they would be as calm when the necessary—chto nuzhno—had to be performed. When he had to earn the tattoo for which he had already ordered the design. He conjured up the image again: him unbuttoning his shirt in the sitting room at home in Tagil, with all his urka brothers present, and showing them his new tattoos. Which would need no comment, no words. So he wouldn’t say anything. Just see it in their eyes: He was no longer Little Sergey. For weeks he had been praying at night that the man would come. And that the necessary would become necessary.

   The message to clean the Bergen plane crackled over the walkietalkie.

   Sergey got up. Yawned.

   The procedure in the second cockpit was even simpler.

   Open the vacuum cleaner, put the contents in the carry-on in the first officer’s locker.

   On their way out they met the crew on their way in. Sergey Ivanov avoided the first officer’s eyes, looked down and noted that he had the same kind of wheeling suitcase as Schultz did. Samsonite Aspire GRT. Same red. Without the little red carry-on that could be fastened to it on top. They knew nothing of each other, nothing of motivations, nothing of the background or the family. All that linked Sergey, Schultz and the young first officer were the numbers of their unregistered cell phones, purchased in Thailand, so they could send a text in case there were changes to the schedule. Andrey limited all information to a strictly need-to-know basis. For that reason, Sergey didn’t have a clue what happened to the packages. He could guess, though. For when the first officer, on an internal flight between Oslo and Bergen, passed from air to land, there was no customs check, no security check. The officer took the carry-on to the hotel in Bergen where he and the crew were staying. A discreet knock on the hotel door in the middle of the night and four kilos of heroin exchanged hands. Even though the new drug, violin, had pushed down heroin prices, the going rate on the street for a quarter was still at least 250 kroner. A thousand a gram. Given that the drug—which had already been diluted—was diluted once more, that would amount to eight million kroner in total. He could do the math. Enough to know he was underpaid. But he also knew he would have done enough to merit a bigger slice when he had done the necessary. And after a couple of years on that salary he could buy a house in Tagil, find himself a good-looking Siberian girl and perhaps let his mother and father move in when they got old.

   Sergey Ivanov felt the tattoo itch between his shoulder blades.

   It was as though the skin were looking forward to the next installment.

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What People are saying about this

“Intricate, breakneck plotting makes for an addictive page-turner in Phantom . . . Brings to mind Michael Connelly’s tortured LAPD detective Harry Bosch.”Los Angeles Times
“The Oslo depiction adds a contemporary heft to Phantom that expands Nesbø’s reach . . . Suggests more than a few parallels to the great television series ‘The Wire’; perhaps it is one master’s nod to another.”Boston Globe
Phantom will maintain Jo Nesbø’s unstoppable momentum.” The Independent (UK)

“Easily the most troubling and heartfelt of this excellent series, Phantom is one of the finest suspense novels to come out of Scandinavia to date.” BookPage
“Nesbø’s true subject is the deterioration of the social fabric that has made Oslo such a civilized place.”New York Times Book Review
“A compulsive page-turner . . . [Phantom] is expertly plotted and structured, with all the requisite twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The latter half of the book is also relentlessly paced, reading at times like a Scandinavian police version of the Jason Bourne series.” The Independent on Sunday (UK)

“Far more than a procedural . . . Personal and topical and hip, as usual.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Nesbø has written a cunningly constructed thriller . . . running at Hollywood summer blockbuster speed.”Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Superb on every level . . . Nesbø begins with an emotionally gripping family drama but surrounds it with an elaborate, beautifully constructed plot involving [a] new drug and the ruthless man who rules its distribution. The subplots, plot twists (especially the last one), and the fully fleshed supporting characters—many of whom could drive their own novels—are all testament to Nesbø’s remarkable talent, but finally, it all comes back to Harry and the pain he endures in trying to carve out a separate peace from a world and a past that won’t let him go.”Booklist (starred)

“A first-class thriller . . . Contains several twists, some of which will make you gasp and at least one of which will make you cry . . . Phantom is Nesbø’s finest novel, a novel for grown-ups, which triumphantly proves, as Harry says, that ‘humans are a perverted and damaged species and there is no cure, only relief.’” Evening Standard (UK)

“Deeply moving . . . This is Harry’s most personal case.” Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Norwegian crime fiction writer Nesbø is one of the best . . . Oslo’s gritty and violent drug world is brought to life through the characters. The fast-paced plots are twisted and riveting, and the two stories collide to reveal a shocking climax. Nesbø is on par with the original Scandinavian duo Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, authors of the Martin Beck series.”Library Journal

“The internationally popular detective series by the Norwegian author builds to a blockbuster climax [in Phantom] . . . Those hooked by [The Snowman] or earlier ones should make their way here as quickly as they can . . . Devastating for protagonist and reader alike.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Phantom is an astoundingly good novel. Nesbø has done it again.”Trouw (Netherlands)

“Another excellent example of why Nesbø has such a firm grasp on the Nordic crime crown . . . Nesbø’s portrait of venality and corruption is bleakly angry, his peek beneath Oslo’s gleaming façade disturbing; a fascination with addiction adds to his writing’s unsettling intensity. But he doesn’t let this overwhelm a tightly coiled plot.” Metro (UK)

“Once again Nesbø demonstrates that he is a crime writer of absolute world class . . . You will understand what I mean when you read Phantom. And please do, this is a masterpiece of the genre. Jo Nesbø just gets better and better.” Västerbottens Folkblad (Sweden)

“Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect Nesbø to reach the dizzying heights of his two previous books, The Snowman and The Leopard. How wrong I was. Phantom is arguably a much better book than any previous instalments. Nesbø wrings out the tension, by turns painful and delicious, with consummate skill. The surprises come like an avalanche as the end nears, engulfing everything in its path.” Daily Express (UK)
“Nesbø is one of the best suspense writers in the world and this novel fully confirms that claim . . . Suspenseful, moving, well written and impossible to put down . . . I just can’t recommend this enough.” (Denmark)
“A brilliant thriller rife with exciting twists by one of the best Scandinavian crime authors.”Bücher (Germany)
“Extremely thrilling!” Die Zeit (Germany)
“Harry’s most lethally gripping and personal journey to date.”The Mirror (UK)

Phantom must be the crime novel of the year. There is no one better or even equal to Jo Nesbø in Scandinavian crime fiction.” Weekendavisen (Denmark)
“Jo Nesbø is a master of his craft. His latest novel, Phantom, is world-class crime writing.” Dagbladet (Norway)

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Phantom 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
slow reading. Hard to keep track of what is happening. Lost interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Harry Hole novel and I must say it was very good. Nice plot twists and plenty of realistic drama.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marvelously woven plot.  Less 'fictional' than what the real drug underworld is probably all about.  Readers with personal or family addiction issues  should beware of the extremely dark and cruel reminders of the effect of the disease.  Highly recommended if you can detach from the subject matter.
OldReader43 More than 1 year ago
If you like dark, tightly written mystery/police procedural novels,especially Scandanavian ones, you will enjoy this. If you've never read any of the books in Jo Nesbo's carefully plotted Harry Hole series, I'd recommend that you read them in order. However, each of the novels stands alone. The translation from Nesbo's native Norwegian is into "British" English so there are a couple of quirky wordings but they don't diminish the work and sometimes add to its appeal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Complex crime novel deals with drug and alcohol abuse on a very personal level. Dark, believable story that pulls no punches.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
In the three years since the conclusion of “The Leopard,” Harry Hole has been serving contentedly as a non-violent enforcer based in Hong Kong, collecting money owed to his employer. Then one day, he ups and returns to Oslo when he learns that Oleg, the drug-using son of the love of his life, has been arrested for the murder of a fellow junkie. The police consider the case closed, so Harry acts independently to investigate. And along the way he finds himself immersed in the midst of Norway’s large drug problem. Hole uncovers a trail of violence and disappearances, police and political corruption, and Harry himself becomes a target of the mysterious drug lord Dubai. The novel is a bleak story of damaged individuals hooked on drugs, and the sleaziness inherent in the activity. The prior novels were forceful, clearly showing Harry’s tortured soul, and his unswerving ability to dig, dig, dig to the heart of a case, honestly and insightfully. “Phantom” accomplishes these ends, but to some extent is confusing at the end; whether the author did this purposely or not yet remains to be seen. As usual, the novel is translated faithfully and excellently, and the book is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Harry Hole series, this latest book will not disappoint. It has a very surprising ending which makes me hope there will be another book soon.
rocky5 More than 1 year ago
Having read quite a few of Jo Nesbo's books, this one starts out more gently. Some just assault you right off the bat. It will grip out, however and bring Harry Hole back onto the scene. You will get reacquainted with his lady love. This one deals with drug trafficking. If you haven't read his novels before, you might want to get a couple of the older Harry Hole mysteries and this one, so you can get to know the character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book! I have been following Harry Hole series since the Bat. Can't wait to see what happens next - it can't be over!
drlcrane More than 1 year ago
As good as it gets although sometimes you do wish that Harry could find happiness. Still the ending surprised me, I will be disappointed when the series ends but I expect that Nesbo will come up with something equally great.
KristaSaysSo More than 1 year ago
Well I don't want to give anything away! This one is surprising and I really had no idea how it was going to end. As always, the Harry Hole novels are great page turners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jo Nesbo's books always have interesting information, characters, and plot twists. Some things you can see coming but others are a surprise. You want to see how things are resolved once the story begins.
pjcolbert More than 1 year ago
A moving story of a former cop and step father trying to save his own from the all consuming drug culture in Oslo, Norway. Its sometimes hard to identify the good guys and nobody wins.
bookbilly More than 1 year ago
With all the previous reviews, there's no reason to outline the plot and risk spoiling the surprising ending (if that truly is the ending). Phantom continues the line of Scandinavian detective novels featuring world weary, scarred (literally and figuratively in this case), psychologically impaired, but brilliant and dogged detectives willing to cut through bureaucratic and legalistic obstacles in the pursuit of the guilty party. All this takes place in the bracing and oft gloomy weather patterns of northern Europe, specifically Oslo. The pattern is consistent with the genre. A thrilling and enticing introduction, a somewhat belabored middle section as clues and false trails are planted and interspersed with periodic suspense, and a final rush of a "don't put this book down" climax, but here, interestingly, an ambiguous ending. To me, that's a good thing, as pat resolutions can be unsatisfying. Nesbo fans will enjoy this well written novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great! I did not see the ending coming! This author is one of my favorites. Every time I thought I got the plot figured out I was wrong. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as his previous books featuring Harry Hole
Stevec50 11 months ago
Harry Hole, grew tired of his life in Oslo. His life working homicide for the police and the people he saw touched and destroyed by events. For three years he lived and worked in Hong Kong, getting individuals to pay their debts on time for his employer. When he learns that the Oleg, the son of Rakel, his one true love, and a boy he had helped raise for many years has been accused of murder he returns to Norway to clear his name. Harry no longer has the protection of his badge, but he still has a few loyal friends and some individuals who owe him favors. Working his way into the violent drug culture in the streets of his hometown, Harry finds that there are few people he can trust and a number of people who don't like his snooping into things. Told from several different perspectives, including that of the murder victim as he lays dying the story reveals a history of deception and greed. Nesbo once again writes a brilliant, if brutal, tale of a Norway we don't see promoted to tourists and perhaps ignored by those who actually live there. The Harry Hole books are international bestsellers for a reason and Nesbo been nominated and received so many awards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Look up. Age: Eh. Around 25-30. Race: Argonian (You know. The lizard looking race from The Elder Scrolls?) Looks: Black scales, a line of black feathers on the back of his head, red eyes, reptile teeth, snout and tail, raspy voice. Attire: Dragon scale or Deadric full armor minus the helmet. Weapon: Ebony (not wooden but extremly powerful.) Greatsword and Ebony bow. Cool facts: Dragonborn. A soul of a dragon in the body of a mortal. He can perform thu'ums. Meaning that if he shouts three words in dragonic, some powerful or useful effect takes place (fus ro dah (force balence push)= object flies miles away.). There is no possible way to deflect or dodge a shout. He also breaths underwater as a natural ablite. Making him great for ambushes. History: A former Dark Brotherhood (another assasin group (still can't spell it.)) member, he quit in search for a group with a higher pay and more respect. He knew everyone was jealous of him because he was the best in the Dark Brotherhood. Now he's here. Something else you should know: He works well with someone else to help. And he's also good with healing certain wounds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all the Harry Hole novels and this is my least favorite.  To say they are getting more and more depressing is an understatement.  Evidently, nobody can be happy in Nesbo's world.  I found myself having to reread parts and go back and forth a few times in order to attempt to keep the characters straight.  By the end, other than the obvious, I truly don't know what happened.  I turned the page and the book was over.  I definitely do not think one could read this book and make any sense of it without having previously read the series, or at least the few books before this one.  I disagree with reviewers who state it can stand on its own.  I will read the next book in the series hoping it won't be the last I purchase.
LarryMason More than 1 year ago
Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series is simply terrific. Not only is the plot development exquisite, keeping you on the edge of your chair until the very end, the character development is fascinating. You're as much worried about the safety of Harry and his "family" as you are about his mental health and sobriety. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
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