Jo Nesbo’s The Redbreast – A Review

If you can believe what you read on line, Jo Nesbo of Oslo, Norway, never sleeps and everything he writes turns to gold. A wannabe soccer player, he switched to getting an economics degree after a knee injury in high school. He later took up rock climbing. When he isn’t writing his Harry Hole police detective series, which he began at the age of thirty-seven, he’s writing music for his Norwegian rock band Di Derre, which he started after college. He is also the author of the young children’s Doctor Proctor series and recent books under the pen name Tom Johansen.

The Redbreast is somewhat a tribute to Nesbo’s father, who ran out of time before beginning the book he wanted to about his experiences in WWII. It is the third book in the Harry Hole series and is set both in Norway and the 1944 Eastern Front. There is some history to be gained in reading about Norway’s split personality, trying to determine which was worse, the Nazis to the south across the Baltic Sea or the Bolsheviks to the east across the Baltic.

Harry gets shuffled around a lot within the police department. Wherever he lands, he has a way of hitting on the key aspects and players in a crime, albeit with tension building last minute heroics. He’s not always right, but he’s mulish when he gets on a case. Although it may be difficult to keep track of all the name-changing characters from the war to present day Norway, Nesbo keeps us turning pages and wondering how it will all end. Not all problems are resolved, but then that is the best part of a series. It leaves you wanting more.