So, I’m going to talk about the series as a whole. These ten books were a whirlwind for me. I feel like I just discovered The Bat and then, all of a sudden, I’ve read everything out there about Harry Hole. While the plot lines were top-notch, it is all about Harry. He is what makes or breaks this series. For me, he makes it. Flawed beyond description as an alcoholic with an addictive personality. Relationship problems both personally and professionally.
Why then, is he one of my favorite characters ever? Because despite all that I listed above he is smart, loyal and tenacious. He doesn’t give up on the people around him and has a moral compass that forces him to come back from the brink every time. Harry is a policeman. (Read the books and you will understand that simple statement.) The kind of detective that I would like to believe exists.
One other thing that has made this series exceptional is that Nesbo is brutal with his characters. Too many times authors have us believe that their main characters are so tough that they can’t really get hurt. And any major (and for some even secondary) characters are untouchable. Yeah, Nesbo doesn’t go for that. Harry is beaten up, shot at, loses a finger and more. And, none, NONE of the characters are safe. In real life, people are hurt. People die. Nesbo doesn’t shy away from that. In fact, he embraces the realities of life.
The last line: “Knowing this was how things should end, like this.” I can’t find confirmation if this is the final book or if Nesbo has plans to continue. Either way, I’m satisfied. Sort of. I guess. I did go back just now and reread a few scenes towards the end. Nesbo is a master of manipulation and misdirection. You can believe what he’s written on the surface but I have a sneaking suspicion that, if there is a book 11…Geez, I can’t even tell you that as it would be a spoiler. Jo Nesbo, you are going to drive me crazy!
Not my favorite of the series (that is reserved for Phantom which broke my heart and probably took years off my life) but a close second. 5/5 stars.