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The Redbreast (2000)

by Jo Nesbø

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Hole (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8791442,369 (3.79)360
A tale moving from the final months of World War II to the present, and from the Russian front to contemporary South Africa, follows the dual adventures of a freedom-seeking war martyr and an alcoholic police officer who is drawn into a mystery with past origins.
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» See also 360 mentions

English (128)  German (5)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
Probably 3.5 stars. Harry Hole is a relentless cop, who is hailed as a hero for shooting someone from Secret Service, who he thought was an assassin. He gets very involved in a case where a war veteran goes on a murder spree. The highlight for me were the therepeutic phone messages left for his closest friend and murdered ex-cop partner columinating in the "no longer in service" message. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Ive heard Nesbo mentioned many, usually in comparison with Steig Larsson which seems to be unavoidable if you write crime fiction and are from a Scandinavian country. That comparison is enough to put me off, not because I dislike Larsson, in fact I loved the Millennium Trilogy. I find it to be lazy on the part of book publishers but I guess publicity is the name of the game and Larsson is the hottest of the last few years.

After a little bit of digging I found that Nesbo has a lot a favourable reviews and so decided to give him a go. Problem number 1. The first two books in the Harry Hole series have not been translated into English. That put me off a little as I like to read books in the order in which they are written. Many reviews said that in their opinion it didn't matter so I bit the bullet and dived in.

Firstly, I regret reading the blurb on the back of the book, it has a HUGE spoiler in it that I felt really annoyed at. For the first 100 pages or so I felt it was just plodding along nicely. Nothing huge seemed to be happening but the writing was engaging enough and it felt like it was setting the platform for what was to come. Initially the story flicks back and forth between 1944 during war time and 1999 in Oslo. It is an effect that Nesbo puts to good use although it did feel a little over used after a while.

After about 200 pages I was hooked, the characters of Harry and Ellen are instantly likeable and I felt myself urging them on more and more throughout the book. Once I had reached the first big plot moment (the one spoilt by the blurb) I just had to finish it and so read it over the space of the next day and a half. The story moves along fast and feels about the right length instead of needlessly long or missing important details.

I only have 2 slight down points on the book which made it a 4 star (4.5 really) and not 5 star book for me. The first is that a lot of characters come along in quick succession which made me flick back once of twice to check who was who. It doesn't get over the top but it's not normally something I have a problem with. The second is that Harry Hole is a brilliant but down on his luck detective who is a big drinker, frequents dive bars who develops a love interest who should be out of his league. To me this feels quite over-used in the crime genre but somehow I still really liked the character.

In the inevitable comparison I can't say if I prefer Larsson or Nesbo but Nesbo's writing is feels of a better standard to me but none of the characters quite hit the heights of Lisbeth Salander. Hole's detective work feels a whole lot more natural though when compared to Blomkvist.

I really enjoyed this books and have already decided I need to find out what happens next so I need to go book shopping again. Ive got a feeling I am really going to enjoy the series. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 19, 2021 |
First-rate mystery. Interesting characters, totally engaging plot - what's not to like? ( )
  meredk | May 20, 2021 |
I started listening to this a while ago and couldn't get into it. I'm glad I gave it another try. It's very good.

It alternates between 1944-45 and 1999-2000, and there are a lot of characters. I sometimes found it hard to keep track of them, but that's a downside of audiobooks; you can't just flip back a few pages to remind yourself of who someone is. However, I was ultimately able to get through it without too many issues in that regard.

Harry is not your typical curmudgeonly jaded police detective. He's an alcoholic, but mostly has it under control. I found him to be quite likable, though he smokes too much. ;)

This is the third book in the series, but I didn't feel that I was missing anything by not reading the first two. There were mentions of previous exploits, but I didn't think it affected this story at all.

I don't know how many books are in this series, and I'm too lazy to look right now, but there are a couple of definite loose ends in this one that I'm sure are addressed in later book. I'm not sure whether I'll read any more of these, but that's due to the overwhelming number of books I have to read rather than a statement on the quality of this book.

The narrator of the audio was very good, and navigated all of the Norwegian and German names with ease.

I'd like to thank Molly for recommending this one! ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
To Richard 05/02/21 ( )
  Beyerman | Feb 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
An elegant and complex thriller by the Norwegian musician, economist and crime writer Jo Nesbo...The engineering of the interlocking plot pieces is intricate because it has to support Nesbo’s complicated ideas — and dire thoughts — about Norwegian nationalism, past and present. While giving his ambitious book the form of a police procedural, featuring Harry Hole, an attractive if familiarly flawed loose cannon of a cop, the author expands his street-level subplots into a narrative that reaches all the way back to World War II, when Norway was under German occupation.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nesbø, Joprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersen, Allan HiltonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, DonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartulović, MislavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caspi, DanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Čuden, DarkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
노진선Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Font i Mateu, LaiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fouillet, AlexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frauenlob, GüntherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horáková, ŠtěpánkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inōe, EtsukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menna, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mihăeș, LorenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montes Cano, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olaisen, PerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paunovska, AnetaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puleo. GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saʻd al-Dīn, MarwānTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shtrykova, A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taş, RabiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vroom, Annelies deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zimnicka, IwonaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林立仁Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Maar stilaan vatte hij moed, vloog dichterbij
en trok met zijn snavel een doorn, die in het hoofd
van de gekruisigde was gedrongen, uit.

Maar terwijl hij dit deed, viel er een druppel bloed van de
gekruisigde op de keel van de vogel. Die verspreidde zich snel
en kleurde al zijn zachte borstveertjes.

Maar de gekruisigde deed zijn lippen van elkaar en fluisterde tegen
de vogel: "Door jouw barmhartigheid heb je nu verworven wat je voorgeslacht
al sinds de schepping van de aarde begeerd heeft.

- Selma Lagerlöf - Christuslegende

But little by little he gained courage, flew close to him, and drew with his little bill a thorn that had become embedded in the brow of the Crucified One.  And as he did this there fell on his breast a drop of blood from the face of the Crucified One - it spread quickly and floated out and colored all the little fine breast feathers. Then the Crucified One opened his lips and whispered to the bird: 'Because of thy compassion, thou hast won all that thy kind have been striving after, ever since the world was created.'

Selma Lagerlöf, Robin Redbreast, Christ Legends
Dedication
First words
A grey bird glided in and out of Harry's field of vision
En grå fågel gled in i Harrys synfält och sedan ut igen.
Quotations
Maar stilaan vatte hij moed, vloog dichterbij
en trok met zijn snavel een doorn, die in het hoofd
van de gekruisigde was gedrongen, uit.

Maar terwijl hij dit deed, viel er een druppel bloed van de
gekruisigde op de keel van de vogel. Die verspreidde zich snel
en kleurde al zijn zachte borstveertjes.

Maar de gekruisigde deed zijn lippen van elkaar en fluisterde tegen
de vogel: "Door jouw barmhartigheid heb je nu verworven wat je voorgeslacht
al sinds de schepping van de aarde begeerd heeft.

- Selma Lagerlöf - Christuslegende

Only the dead escape unscathed.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

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A tale moving from the final months of World War II to the present, and from the Russian front to contemporary South Africa, follows the dual adventures of a freedom-seeking war martyr and an alcoholic police officer who is drawn into a mystery with past origins.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
It is 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.

In 1999, Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

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