Review – The Redbreast (Harry Hole #3) – by Jo Nesbo

7113816Harry Hole, an unfortunate name for an increasingly interesting character.

The third installment of this series is the strongest so far.  Harry investigates when a rifle is smuggled into the country.  The type of rifle is primarily used for assassinations and time is running out to find the gunman before he can complete his task.

What works in The Redbreast?  Many of the issues I saw in prior installments were thankfully absent here.  Harry stays in Norway and actually investigates a case for his department.  Plus, while he is still a very flawed character, he doesn’t make such bad decisions as he has in the past.  The story itself is intricate (more on that later) and keeps you guessing.  Chapters alternate between present day (2000) and World War II.  We follow the lives of several Norwegian soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany.  Slowly, Nesbo allows us to see what really happened on those snowy battlefields and where these men are today.

There is a lot going on within the pages and there were times when it was confusing.  Most of this was intentional and added to the tension that is so enjoyable in a thriller.  But, it probably could have been tightened up a little to reduce some of the headaches for the reader.  Harry also goes through something early on that may or may not have been necessary.  I felt that it didn’t add to the main storyline and the purpose it served could have been accomplished in other ways.

I was glad to see Harry’s relationship with his female partner.  It’s completely platonic and showed another side to his personality.  Plus he has the potential for a somewhat (?) healthy and appropriate romantic relationship with a new character. I’m sure we will learn more about this in the next book.

Nesbo really won me over by not wrapping everything up in a bow at the end.  There was a major storyline that wasn’t resolved.  It’s gutsy to do that and makes me want to read the next one even sooner.

4/5 stars.  Good stuff.

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