Harper, Jan 2009, $$25.95
In Oslo, the robber and his colleagues enter the bank and calmly inform the teller she has twenty-five seconds to hand over her money or die. He watches the clock as she completes his demand in less than twenty seconds. He executes her anyway. He and the others calmly leave with the loot.
While Harry Hole’s girlfriend is in a custody battle in Moscow, he feels lonely so the alcoholic he hooks up with is his former girlfriend, Anna for a night of fun. Soon afterward, Anna is found dead, officially ruled a suicide by Hole’s peer Tom Waaler, but Harry believes a homicide occurred. He quietly investigates Anna’s death while he and his partner Halvorsen work the bank robbery murder in which he notices something odd about the surveillance tape. However, an email warns Harry that someone has him under surveillance because they know he was with Anna just before she died and worse knows more about that night than the hanged over cop remembers.
The latest translation of a Harry Hole Norwegian police procedural (see THE REDBREAST) is a terrific thriller in which the alcoholic lead character prefers investigating the death of his ex more than the bank robberies, but needs to hide his inquiry from his girlfriend, partner and the brass. He and the bank robbers make the tale as Hole needs to learn what happened to Anna and who knows more about that night than he does; while the robbers open the tale with one of the most exciting ruthless scenes of the year and only increase the exhilaration level as well as the cold blooded killings. Readers will enjoy seeing Oslo through the eyes of Jo Nesbo.