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Police by Jo Nesbo

Police (2013)

by Jo Nesbo

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As my blog followers know, I was recently introduced to Jo Nesbo and his character of Harry Hole, a deeply flawed police officer from Oslo, Norway. It was love at first word and now, I am on a mission to read the whole series. I was trying to read these in order but readers know there is a ghost who lives in all houses with books.

Periodically, the ghost of books, will misplace or hide the next book in the series, forcing the reader to rip the house apart looking for that book. Unable to find it, you read the one at hand but drive yourself crazy trying to find the other book.

I also have a critic. Her name is Cotton and she is a cat. She is critical of all books. They all have to be shelved or she uses them for potential scratching posts. The more you value a book, the greater the risk that Cotton will scratch the cover for you.

So between ghost and Cotton, I was forced out of order in the series. This novel was a real nail biter too. Police in Oslo are returning to the scenes of unsolved crimes on the one year anniversary and are being systematically slaughtered.

A team is assembled of officers and profilers who have worked with or been associated with or mentored by Harry Hole. Unlike in previous novels, Harry comes into the story a little later and has had a series of events unfold that have changed his life and lifestyle.

It is a real cat and mouse game that the police are playing with the killer. They are also in the game of politics and the higher ups want solutions and results while at the same time, working against the very interests they are working to serve.

Oslo is the backdrop this time. In the other stories I have read so far, Harry has been on the road, solving cases around the world. This time, he is working as a professor at the police training college and advising the force on methods to solve these cases – which he was at first reluctant to become involved in.

Nesbo’s writing is excellent. I haven’t enjoyed a series like this and been so engrossed in some time. I keep coming back for more and I will continue in my quest to find the misplaced book so we I can share another Harry Hole story with you next time. The ghost and the cat, willing. ( )
  ozzie65 | Jun 20, 2017 |

It’s 10 minutes after the hour and I’ve done it again. I hate missing the first part of my favourite show. Call it obsession, call it silly, but I have to see it from the start or I don’t feel it’s worth watching at all. Yes, I could figure out what happened, but it’s just not the same. Harry Hole also knows what it’s like to be on the ground-floor of something important even though he only puts an appearance after one-third of the book... The first one-third without Harry sets the stage for what comes afterward... And what a ride it is!

The book goes from here to there, then back to here again. It is horrible twisted, unpredictable, completely gory and twists and turns like a game of scrabble.

That saying this book is not for the faint hearted and is extremely dark and violent, but it's an unputdownable read nonetheless.

I started it mid-morning and the next thing I knew was that it was starting to get dark outside and I had read the whole book in one sitting and was thirsty and hungry! Do not read this book on a train as you will miss your stop! It grabs you straight from the start!

But "Police's" story is not meant for pure entertainment in my view. There’s a heightened sense of urgency and force here that makes it sometimes painful to read. It's an experience in itself.

Grisly murders abound. The stakes are higher in the book as its members of the force are being hunted and killed. Not only that, but their deaths are a brutal reenactment of cold cases.

“Police” allowed me to identify with the investigation, giving me access to the minds and feelings of the frustrated investigators as I shared their experiences, concerns and suspicions. That's the department where the Scandinavian Crime Fiction excels by depicting deeply psychological, highly individualistic portraits of twisted motivation.

On a different level I fondly remember the way Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall depicted Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s and allowing us to follow the investigation in each book without any kind of trimmings.

Scandinavian Crime Fiction allows me to be inside the head of the main characters. There's not a better recommendation for a book in my view.
It's quite clear you’re in the hands of a master of the form.
" ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Very exciting mystery. Kept me guessing, every time I think I know where it is going it surprised me. ( )
  nx74defiant | Nov 21, 2016 |
One of the best in a really great suspense series (you can safely skip the first couple, though - something even Nesbo has said). Best of all, Harry has found a way to have some lasting and positive peace in his life. Hurray!!! ( )
  auntmarge64 | Oct 9, 2016 |
Harry Hole, had an almost perfect record for solving murders in his native Norway. Having confronted some of the most grisly cases, being attacked, and having killed someone himself, he decided to change careers. Keeping his new location secret, he began teaching a course in crime solving based on his experiences as a detective.
His former co-workers miss him and his expertise, especially when member of the police force begin to become the victims. Each murder is done in the same place, in the same manner and on the anniversary of an unsolved case. The police victims were each connected with the investigation of original murders.
The reader quickly learns, though the characters do not, that there was a lot of corruption and in both the higher levels of the police department and of the local government. Infidelity was also rampant. Can anyone be trusted? “Oppression often turns out to be the expectations we impose on ourselves and the expectations we interpret those around us as having. Especially those closest, friends and colleagues.”
One small group of police decided to try to find the murderer on its own only to have the Police Chief shut it down.
Jo Nesbo offers several possible suspects as the perpetrator. Just when you think one of them is the killer, another one pops up. I found myself worrying about the fate of some of the characters when something they said or did might lead to them becoming victims.
Hole, meanwhile, learns a lot about himself through an encounter with one of his students.
Nesbo offers an explanation for the reason for and popularity of religion and forgiveness of sins.
There are some questionable actions: Why would a trained police officer not realize the reason he failed at his job? Why did officers and detectives ignored their instincts when they thought they saw someone lurking outside a window.
POLICE is a good psychological thriller. It grabbed my interest at the beginning and didn’t let go. It had lots of twists, turns, and reversals. While the murders are horrific and the results described in some detail, they are not described in prolonged detail. Likewise, the sex scenes are rather minimal. ( )
  Judiex | Sep 28, 2016 |
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To Knut Nesbø, football player, guitarist, pal, brother.
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He was asleep in there, behind the door.
Den sov därinne, bakom dörren.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345813200, Paperback)

Several police officers are found murdered at the scene of an old and unsolved murder case that they were involved in investigating. The killings are extremely brutal and bestial. The police have no leads. What's more, they're missing their best investigator. A severely wounded man in a coma is kept alive at a hospital in Oslo. The room is guarded by the police and the identity of the patient is kept secret.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

The police urgently need Harry Hole . . . A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical. But this time, Harry can't help. For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry is not in a position to protect anyone--least of all himself.… (more)

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