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Police is another solidly gripping installment of the Harry Hole series This time, someone is brutally murdering police officers at the site of old, unsolved homicides where they have investigated and the trail has gone cold As the body count starts ratcheting up, and it hits closer and closer to home, the police realize they have no leads, and their best investigator is not available to help out.I feel this series is at its most entertaining and spinechilling when dealing with serial killers, and I'm happy that this book went back to that theme There were so many clues and red herrings in here, and for a while sinister vibes were coming off of everyone It was great fun, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough About twothirds of the way through, I started to get an inkling of what might've been going on and was pleasantly surprised when I turned out to be right, for once!As a random aside, I'm someone who's quite squeamish and the crimes in this book are gruesome (a Jo Nesbø hallmark), but for some reason that doesn't bother me in this series I've been trying to figure out why for the last four books, and I still can't put my finger on it Maybe it's so outlandishly horrifying that it comes across as quite hammed up and therefore I find it to be great fun? Although if that's the explanation, I'm not sure what it says about me.I noticed with this and the last book that even though each is a standalone and the main crime is solved, there are a few loose ends that doesn't get wrapped up and are carried over into the next book I personally prefer my books to be wholly selfcontained due to poor memory issues, but this just means I can't wait too long until I read the next one. In this 10th book in the 'Harry Hole' series, a serial killer is targeting police officers The novel can be read as a standalone.*****A serial killer in Oslo has a bizarre agenda Time after time the murderer lures a cop to the scene of an unsolved crime, then viciously kills him/her in a manner somehow connected to what originally happened there.Harry Hole is not available to assist the investigation so other members of the crime squad have to pick up the slack as best they can This includes Harry's former boss Gunnar Hagen the team leader;Katrine Bratt a clever intuitive detective; Beate Lonn who has a freakish ability to remember every face she's ever seen; and Stale Aune a psychologist who's determined to give up police work.Meanwhile, there's plenty of other 'police stuff' going on in this thriller A cop guarding the hospital room of a comatose patient is too easily distracted by attractive nurses and odd noises A police academy student becomes infatuated with her professor and determined to seduce him Mikael Bellman, the new police chief, is as corrupt as they come and anxious to hide his previous crimes Thus Bellman had to suspend his sidekick the murderous Truls Berntsen because of an unexplained fat bank account that might draw attention to Bellman Ironically Berntsen spends his free time stalking/obsessing over Bellman's beautiful wife To top it off, the drug dealer Valentin thought to be dead seems to be on the loose and is suspected of being the 'cop killer'.Almost everyone in this book seems to be a potential victim, including civilians close to the crime squad This is a gripping story with fascinating characters, gruesome crimes, and surprising twists Very good book.You can follow my reviews at Interesting plot line marred by too much gimmickry and manipulationA killer is targeting police officers; specifically officers who were involved in the investigation of unsolved murders The killer lures an officer to the scene of the previous crime and kills the cop in a way similar to the original murder The investigators believe that if they can only figure out the killer's motive, maybe they can find this relentless killer, who has left them few, if any, other clues.Meanwhile, a man lies in a coma in a heavilyguarded hospital room Newlyappointed Oslo police chief Mikael Bellman worries about what the man might reveal if he ever returns to consciousness.Nesbø sets up three main suspects in the police murders and spends most of the book manipulating the reader into thinking it's X, then Y, then Z He also tries to generate excitement by putting characters in apparent danger, cutting away to another scene and then returning to the danger scene Quite often the danger scene turns out to be not at all dangerous, because the mysterious threat is now revealed to be a friend or coworker Nesbø also frequently makes a situation seem threatening by not telling the reader who a character is, just referring to him as he, so that the reader thinks the worst.These gimmicks to gin up excitement and fear in the reader are so frequent and obvious that it becomes like the fable of the boy who cried wolf After he's done it a few times, the reader recognizes the gimmick and just wants to get through the scene.There is a broader repetition in Nesbø's writing He repeats certain key characters' places in Harry's life and plot developments involving those key characters from earlier books to this book I can't saywithout being spoilery, but if you've read the early books in the series, you'll spot it In Nesbø's serial killer books, I also feel like the killer's voice is virtually identical from book to book Nesbø's writing in the nonserial killer books (like Phantom, for example) is far stronger andengaging.Maybe I expect too much of this series, now up to 10 books I started reading it when The Redbreast was first published in the US, and have read every book in the series, except The Cockroaches After this long with a series, I feel I know Harry, his colleagues, enemies, and very small circle of loved ones, and I welcome readingabout them I always find the depiction of Oslo and its society and politics fascinating And I did read every last bit of The Police I just wish I didn't spend so much of the time feeling manipulated and as if Nesbø had been relyingon tricks and set pieces than heartfelt storytelling. 10 starsPoliceAnyone who doesn't dare to stand up for justice should have a guilty conscience.Police is a riveting follow up to Phantom, the previous novel in the Harry Hole series and seamlessly picks up where Phantom ended Excerpt from the end of Phantom (view spoiler)[The recoil made the barrel jump and the third bullet hit him in the head He fell Beneath him, darkness And he plunged into it Until it swallowed him up and swept him into a cooling, painless nothing At last, he thought And that was Harry Hole's final thought That at long, long last he was free (hide spoiler)] ( READ EPUB ) ♸ Politi ☥ Полицията отчаяно се нуждае от Хари ХулеИз улиците на Осло отново дебне убиец Полицаи намират зловещия си край на местопрестъпления от отминали случаи, които не са успели да разрешат Убийствата са брутални, а реакцията на медиите е близка до истериятаНо този път Хари не може да помогне В продължение на години инспектор Хари Хуле е бил в центъра на всяко мащабно полицейско разследване в Осло Неговата отдаденост към работата и безпогрешната му преценка са спасили живота на мнозина А сега, когато над найблизките му е надвиснал мрак, той не е способен да предпази който и да еДори себе си I'm frank to confess that I have no idea how to review this book, and I will also say that, to my mind, a number of reviewers and even the publishers themselves have given away key elements of the plot that will diminish the enjoyment of the book for anyone unfortunate enough to have read their comments.Suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was on the edge of my seat for much of the time I spent with it Readers who have enjoyed Jo Nesbo's series featuring Oslo detective Harry Hole will certainly want to look for this one One can safely say that the book opens with the murder of a policeman and that it soon becomes apparent that a serial killer is targeting police officers for some reason known only to him or herself The tension begins to build from the first page and doesn't let up until the last Readers will spend a good deal of time with their hearts in their throats But best approach the book blind; don't read reviews (other than this one, of course) and don't look at either the front or the back of the book until you have finished it.(view spoiler)[ My only reservation about this book is that Nesbo gets a little too cute for his own good here From the beginning, he takes the reader down so many false trails that, in the end, you begin to disbelieve everything that seems to be happening This is a relatively small complaint, but in the end, it did distract a bit from the thrill of the story Still, a very good read (hide spoiler)] Rarely give out 5 stars but this is a no brainerEvery time I read one of Nesbo's books, I am struck again by just how good he is The previous book ended with Harry being shot by Oleg, the young man he helped raise son of the woman he loves This one opens with a comatose patient lying in a hospital bed under police protection If he could speak, he'd have a few things to say about a couple members of the force, one currently under suspension, the other the new chief.It's been months since the shooting Harry's old crew have moved on without him Someone is killing police officers involved in old cases that were never solved.That's all I'll say about the plot for 2 reasons First, it's so complex as to be almost impossible to summarize when you could be reading the book instead of this review Second, I don't want to spoil any surprises Part of the joy in reading these books is trying to guess what happens next Suffice to say, just as you think you know what's going on, think again.Nesbo is a master of misdirection There are always multiple characters that are candidates for the bad guy, each with a credible motive As the story progresses, you keep changing your mind as to the identity of the killer There are many reoccurring characters story lines from previous books are continued There are shifting alliances, many hidden agendas not all of the old crew will survive the fallout from this case Unlike many authors, Nesbo doesn't shy away from bumping off a beloved character.Tension slowly builds as we wait to see who will be the next target you'll consider homicide yourself if anyone tries to come between you this book Once you're in its' grip, it's compulsive reading because you have to know how it all shakes out Intricate plotting, sharp dialogue, compelling characterswhat's not to like? You become completely invested in these people want to see them get what they deserve, for better or worse.I wanted to add a note about the translation Sometimes when a novel is converted to English, it has a slightly awkward flow that reminds you it was originally in another language Not so here Don Bartlett has done a fantastic job, maintaining the voice of each character the wry, dark gallows humour.This is thriller writing at its' best with an intense pace jaw dropping twists If you haven't read this series before, don't start here Get the first one Each subsequent book is all the richer as you get to know the histories of each character their relationships What a pleasure! Book Review The rat bit once into the leather shoe Licked the metal again, the salty metal that protruded between the two of the fingers on the right hand Scrabbled up the suit jacket that smelled of sweat, blood and food, so many types of food that the linen material must have been in a garbage can She ran up the arm, across the shoulder, stopped at a bloodstained bandage around the neck Then she scuttled up the chest There was still a strong smell coming from the two round holes in the suit jacket Sulfur, gunpowder One was right by the heart It was still beating She continued up to the forehead, licked the blood running in a single thin stream from the blond hair Went down to the lips, nostrils, eyelids There was a scar along the cheek The rat stopped again, as if considering how to get through In endings we find a new beginning This scrubbing of one death into something newly born, as books in series do, from epilogue to prologue as it were takes time during which trenchant attitudes must give way to calm and patience: Is Harry Hole dead? Did a rodent a rat scurry elsewhere or did it drawn by his blood bury its teeth into the scar tissue on his face, and beyond into the elastic flesh and ruthlessly gnaw its way into the soft flesh of Harry's brain? Anticipation Much like a cockroach is determined when it skitters beneath our floor boards, we grit our teeth and open the book to its first page And then as a reader, we smirk, perhaps admire Nesbo for playing us like a fiddle in The Phantom, but let's face it, we know Harry isn't dead The publisher has declared it so by releasing this, another Harry Hole novel and let's face it: it isn't often in the history of publications that a crime series continues on without its hero And so we sneer, fully expecting Harry to jump out at us in the first few chapters, a tall vikinglike figure, victorious, scarred beyond belief but somehow made new and resplendent and yes flawed beyond redemption once again ready to flounce his enemies And you'd be wrong to think it.Flouncing his readers' preconceptions is what Jo Nesbo does for a living Jo Nesbo is a hidden manipulator Using vertical and horizontal control bars in different forms the book becomes an ancient form of performance in which we become his puppets; where our feelings are stretched taut like strings in a morality play to which only a master puppeteer holds the key Fool you once, fool you twiceand fool you thrice.If you've made it this far in the Harry Hole series you understand the veracity of this.GR friends know that what I read is crime fiction Why I read crime fiction is an entirely different question So, what follows is the why of it In painting, something happened after impressionism: post modernism and abstraction took hold moving power away from the artist to the critic (after all, none of it could be understood) In music Stravinsky was the father of such abstraction in classical music In literature Joyce and others decided a sentence could be pages long, naturalism came to the forefront More andliterary authors came to believe that just because they thought it, it must be good Plot was abandoned and now readers of such writing cling to style and prose as their fix having all but forgotten the importance of plot.But we are human beings Almost everything we do is a choice it is a built in mechanism from which we cannot escape We have a cause (something we want), then a choice, and its effect To effectively maneuver though this maze of choices we need some sort of guide that tells us what is the right choice and which one is wrong The guides vary of course (religion, greed, self interest, politics, etc.) But there is one fundamental cause behind all of our choices and that is to be alive All of us share this value regardless of the guide we follow and when this root cause gets threatened, as it does so acutely in the crime genre, human beings make some fascinating decisions most likely, all the ideas and notions that place us in conflict with others disappear because we all share this value of life In Police the entire police force usually heavily conflicted move as one to discover the killer of their own, in real life, there were no Democrats and Republicans immediately following 911, there were only Americans united as one Plot is the literary equivalent of human choice To be human is to be volitional and nowhere is thisacutely represented than in crime fiction Literature without choice (i.e without plot) but chock full of concepts to me is like leaving out half the equation and simultaneously demanding the problem be solved.Jo Nesbo is a master of very complex plots, a genius at exploring human motivations, the choices people make and the resultant consequences and in doing so embraces the essence of humanity I can go into his talent at creating multiple story lines for each of his characters, some resolved and some left dangling for Nesbo's further use I can tell you his forte at characterization is second to none But, I'm not going to do that Let's just say that it's fair to acknowledge that Jo Nesbo has taken over the mantle from Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell and is now the most prominent Scandinavian crime writer today.Police may well be Nesbo's exit strategy, or it may not We'll never know until a possible next in the series is published Series ReviewHere's the thing about the recent popularity of Scandinavian writers and if you're a Nordic Thriller aficionado you couldn't care less about the distinction: the novels are depressed, somber, filled with ennui, a lack of humor, with flawed characters if not suffused with a strong tendency towards determinism; in short, whether you're reading Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, or Jo Nesbo you are likely reading Literary Naturalism If you live in Scandinavia you might consider this par for the course, ennui is imbued into the populace (as it is also reflected in the works of prominent Russian writers Anna Karenina comes to mind) Just as we continue to struggle here in the States with our history of slavery and the resulting racial tensions, so do Europe and Scandinavia struggle in coming to terms with Nazism and the Bolshevik revolution (More than a few reviewers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Nordic writers' preoccupation with Nazism) And yet, the rise in popularity of these Nordic thrillers here in the States is puzzling given our strong tendency towards literary Romanticism We like for the good guys to win, we like emotion, we like our heroes (as opposed to antiheroes) we enjoy free will, and in general consider ourselves in control of our own lives.Jo NesboHaving said that: there is excellence in Literary Naturalism The above doesn't mean we can't enjoy a well written novel, an intriguing mystery, a flawed antihero, a well crafted story written in the style of literary Naturalism n(though Nesbo seems to be moving away from this towards Romanticism as the series progress) Still, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the works of Jo Nesbo I did.In Jo Nesbo's words: I come from a family of readers and story tellers With a librarian mother and a father who sat before the fire and told the kids stories they wanted to hear (each repetition bringing something new to the tale) Jo's foundation was carved in stone Again, in his own life story we sense the determinism filtering into his life: he wanted to be a soccer star but an injury put a quick stop to this; with a dreadful feeling of fate guiding his life he entered the military in the hopes something would happen (what happened was SelfDiscipline); thinking he might want to be an economist he entered the world of finance which he abandoned as well; someone told him he could play guitar (he only knew 3 chords) and he formed several bands, Di Derre being the most successful; and finally he wrote (on an airplane to begin with) and he never stopped.Yes, the books should be read in order! For an American audience, Harry Hole can be likened to Harry Bosch; he defies authority, is an outcast within his own organization, is best left alone to do this job (his office is at the end of the hall), isof an antihero than a hero, has trouble with his romantic life, lives alone, has a fierce propensity for justice (as opposed to the Law) and once let loose is like a pit bull with a bone fastened to his jaws But perhaps the most compelling reason why Harry Hole has such a following is Nesbo's devastating characterization of what exactly comprises a flawed hero Upon reflection, American hardboiled writers don't come close to accomplishing the same This is not too dissimilar to the way Nesbo sees himself.Bjarne Møller, my former boss, says people like me always choose the line of most resistance It's in what he calls our 'accursed nature' That's why we always end up on our own I don't know I like being alone Perhaps I have grown to like my selfimage of being a loner, too.I think you have to find something about yourself that you like in order to survive Some people say being alone is unsociable and selfish But you're independent and you don't drag others down with you, if that's the way you're heading Many people are afraid of being alone But it made me feel strong, free and invulnerable.Andah, yes, there is the matter of plot! So how do we justify this decided streak of fate/determinism within the novels with Nesbo's apparent mastery of plot? The two seemingly ought to contradict each other On the one hand, we have Nesbo's almost Shakespearean tendency to cast characters as marionette puppets on the strings of fate (the very opposite of plot), while on the other hand we are riveted by the very complex actions and reactions made by Harry Hole during his investigations (Nesbo is a master at not adding anything superfluous to his novels) Perhaps it is an unholy marriage between the two that transfixes us His plots are intricate, very complex, the seemingly irrelevant details exposed throughout the novels become larger than life as the story closes, and they can weave through time, forward and backward, as the story unfolds But, with a little alacrity, we can remember we are reading Naturalism and so it isn't always Harry Hole making events happen, but rather the reverse, it is the events that move Harry Hole Again, it is a matter of preference but in Nesbo's case it is done with utter expertise as a writer.The exposition/setting is often Scandinavia: the weather is somber, the descriptions greylike, the people absorbed with alcohol and withdrawn, if not bundled and sequestered And yet, the dialogue and scenes are full of references to other milieus', continents, languages, and cleverly hidden philosophical references that speak to a widely cultured audience (as opposed to American writers of this genre who rarely venture beyond the borders of their land, if not their own State) And as with plot, there are no superfluous details Everything in the novels matters and Nesbo does not forget even the tiniest detail to which he's made a seemingly furtive reference earlier on in the story This is one of the biggest reasons why I love Jo Nesbo. After Phantom's amazing twisthanger I was almost delirious with glee and trepidation when I heard the next Harry Hole book Police was coming out.So was my anticipation satisfied?Yes however not in the way I expected Police is a weightier tome than other Hole novel's and thusly the length of the novel evokes tension as a slowburn rather than a furious action packed feast While perhaps less immediately exciting Nesbo plies us with a smorgasbord of corruption, deeply disturbing villains, and tormented decisions from our main characters which had my nerves fraying to the point of madness.Nesbo has a talent for taking crime thriller tropes and twisting them into deranged scenarios than leave most other authors behind as cliche peddlers While it takes time to warm up to this book it is definitely worth it The end, perhaps not as shocking as the Phantom, I feel will stick in heads for a while yet.As to a aforementioned twisthanger? Don't expect fireworks and or huge magical reveals Expect ambiguity and sneaky oblique plotting that keeps you guessing throughout the novel I admit I was hoping for a dramatic conclusion to the events at the end of Phantom, but what Nesbo presents is cool in its own way.Overall Police reads differently from other Oslo Sequence books Longer andnuanced, expect a familiar level of violence, but Nesbo revs up the psychological and sexually perverse aspects of crime Ultimately creating a novel that is disturbingly original, with just enough light to satisfy. I think this will be my last Jo Nesbo novel This book starts out great but it becomes purposely confusing and misleading, to the point of utter annoyance The storyline is all over the place with several plot threads happening simultaneously, jumping back and forth There are 3 main suspects and the pronoun he is often used in place of a name to keep the reader guessing the identity of the killer He did this, then he did that When you combine that with the confusion of so many convoluted, interwoven plots and red herrings, it became tiresome and frustrating In the end, I didn't care who did it I just wanted this book to end.