Book 3, in the Harry Hole series
This captivating Scandinavian crime fiction is an excellent police procedural with a great plot that deals with a Norwegian serial killer and a tormented alcoholic protagonist who is about to lose his job and along with it, his relationship and his sanity.
It opens with a serial killer on the loose in Oslo. The killer cuts off his victims’ fingers and leaves a tiny five corner red diamond shaped star as his signature.
This very sophisticated plot with many interesting minor characters to keep track of, takes us into the dark corners of Oslo with Harry Hole as prime investigator. He once again proves that his escalating bad habits cannot take away his ability to be a great investigator with an outstanding record at solving crimes. There is good depth in the characterization and a lot of vignettes and back-stories to add colour to the mystery.
In a sub-plot Harry battles with his own demons and corruption in the Oslo police force. He has always made it his mission to flush out criminals even if they are corrupt individual amongst his own ranks. Although, the beginning may seem slow and overly detailed the interplay between the two threads and the clever number of twits and turns successfully kept me on my toes. I found myself dragged into a black hole of mystery, a vortex of intrigue that escalated as I fingered through the pages. Needless to say, I was captivated till the end.