I know I’ve written before about my search for a Henning Mankell replacement. Since Mankell recommended him, I’ve tried a few of Jo Nesbo’s books. I listened to this one. It took so long that the library assumed that I’d lost it. In any event, Nesbo is awesome at plot. And I liked the fact that the story is continued. What happened in The Snowman still matters here. But there are already suggestions here that Nesbo has written himself into a kind of, at best, formula, at worst, rut.

There’s a difficult case. It seems like Norway might have a serial killer on its hands. Though he’s unconventional, the police need Harry Hole. They bring him back and he operates his way without impunity. Along the way, he gets hurt physically and emotionally and abuses everyone with whom he has a relationship, especially the women. But since he’s such a lovable rogue, people forgive him and are willing to help him. Oh, and there’s a lot of intense wince-worthy violence.

Still, sometimes a formula works. There are red herrings, there are messy ending, there are complications. I’ll keep searching, but I’ve heard good things about Nesbo’s new one, Police.

And Robin Sachs gets huge praise for me for his slight, but memorable and meaningful variations among the characters. I’m pretty sure I’d listen to any story he read.

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