By the 5th installment of a series, you can usually start to determine if the author is going to be able to keep up positive momentum or if they will eventually start running on fumes. Nesbo shows no signs of slowing down and The Devil’s Star is another solid Harry Hole thriller.
Harry isn’t doing well. He hasn’t convinced his superiors of the truth about his partner’s murder. His love life is in the toilet. He’s completely off the wagon and he is about to be kicked off the force permanently. When an apparent serial killer starts murdering women, he is called in to assist one last time.
While TDS wasn’t my favorite of the series so far (I’ll tell you why a little later), I still was on the edge of my seat and turning pages like a fanatic. Harry has so many problems and makes so many bad decisions. But…he’s the detective you would want investigating your murder. (Well, if you care about it wherever you end up.) Smart, tricky and with a moral code that is his own. He gets the job done. His interactions with Waaler (his suspect for killing his partner) were riveting.
Harry’s relationship with Rakel has hit a rocky patch, to say the least. The funny thing is that the reader can see that she is willing to make it work but Harry punishes himself by not even giving her an opportunity most of the time. And, he loves her and misses Oleg, her son. We’ve known for a while that Harry is self-destructive and this is just one example. Nesbo does a great job describing the pain on both sides.
My only complaint with this one is that I sometimes felt that there was too much going on with the main story and it was tough to keep up with a few times. While the ending was satisfying, it was a little far-fetched. I do love that there was some closure on one storyline but it still left us with more to learn about who was REALLY involved.
Still, 4.5/5 stars and highly recommended. Just not the best.