1st book translated into English but the 3rd in the Harry Hole series.
This is a complex Norwegian thriller, a fabulous modern day mystery influenced by captivating and informative flashbacks from events and roles Norwegians were forced into during WW11.
The story begins with Harry Hole, the protagonist, a gifted policeman, who caused his department a high profile embarrassment and was subsequently relegated to surveillance work monitoring neo-Nazi activities, a punishment Harry quickly turns into a new challenge.
Harry’s speculative mind and acquired skills are just what is needed when word on the street surfaces that someone in the underworld is looking for a very particular vintage sniper rifle. He knows he is on the right track when a former Nazi sympathiser is found silenced with his throat cut and victims of the vintage sniper rifle start to accumulate. From the very first the reader follows the path that Harry takes and also the path the sniper takes, creating a unique suspense, a proverbial high gear cat and mouse game .
The tale’s WW11 tread slowly interweaves into the main as the pages go by. This is a page-turner at its best with narratives that move between Harry’s present day inquiries and the Eastern front in 1944, where a small group of Norwegian Nazis with their own agenda are fighting alongside the Germans and at some point switch their allegiance to Russia and become part of the Resistance.
The plot is a gripping tale of political intrigue, love and a serial killer with multiple personalities. This fairly long novel is character driven, a rich creation brilliantly composed with every key stroke. I found it hard to grasp at first there were a lot of seemingly unrelated events happening at a rapid pace, I wondered where all the pieces of the puzzle fit, but gradually the pattern took shape and the confusing flashbacks suddenly became clear as the thrill of the mystery escalated.
This police procedural novel is one of the most captivating and compelling stories I have read in a long time. I am hooked on this series and I am looking forward to reading “Nemesis”.