Many mystery series become stale after just a few books. The authors tend to re-use story lines and not allow the characters any real growth. So far, Jo Nesbo has avoided that with the Harry Hole series.
In Nemesis, Harry is assigned to investigate a bank robbery gone wrong. At the same time, a former lover is in town and he is drawn into a twisted scenario that places him as the prime suspect in a murder.
For me, the gold standard crime writer today is Tana French. Right or wrong, I compare all others to her. Nesbo’s stories aren’t as tight and, sometimes, mind-blowing. And, he isn’t quite on her level with character development. BUT, these are still some of the best crime novels in the past several years. Nemesis is the first time I’ve been able to give him 5-stars.
Harry is a flawed character. He’s an alcoholic that makes really bad decisions in his personal life; especially as related to females. It should bother me that he does it once again in Nemesis. But, somehow, I forgive him. Probably because he recognizes his faults and owns them. He doesn’t blame others or ask for pity. He just tries to get up the next day and live his life. There was a scene between Harry and his boss in a grocery store. Harry had tracked him down to ask about something and his boss was irritated with the intrusion. He talks about the fact that he doesn’t understand why he puts up with Harry. Then he says something to the effect of: “Oh yeah, it’s because I like the bastard.” And, that about sums it up.
There are still some big questions lingering from prior books but we get even closer to Harry discovering the truth about his partner’s murder. I cannot wait for him to get justice.
5/5 stars. The best yet.