14 December, 2013

#BookReview :: Cockroaches (Harry Hole #2) by Jo Nesbø

Detective Harry Hole arrives in a steaming hot Bangkok. But it's work, not pleasure. The Norwegian ambassador has been found dead in a seedy motel room, and no witnesses have come forward. The ambassador had close ties to the Norwegian prime minister, and to avoid a scandal Harry is sent there to hush up the case. But he quickly discovers that there is much more going on behind the scenes and very few people willing to talk. When Harry lays hands on some CCTV footage that will help him unravel what happened that night, things only get more complicated. The man who gave him the tape goes missing, and Harry realises that failing to solve a murder case is by no means the only danger in Bangkok.

This book gave me the feeling of having traveled back in time! Yeah well, that is what should happen (doesn’t always do though) when you read the most recent book in the series just before going back to one of the first few. ‘Cockroaches’ is technically the second book in the Harry Hole Series but it has only recently been translated. The last Jo Nesbø book that I have read is Leopard (Harry Hole 8) and so it was both a nuisance and a pleasure to read this one now. A Nuisance because I already have a bit different image of Harry in my mind – the person he is in book 8. Harry is a character who often irritates you but knowing his past, readers’ cut some slack and to find this younger Harry is much more ‘amenable’ (that word is being used relatively and I never thought I would use that word to describe Harry) is certainly a pleasure.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand, Atle Molnes, is found dead in a brothel in a seedy neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangkok. As this news reaches Norway, there is a flurry of discussion and decisions as a result of which Harry is sent to Thailand to investigate the case and help the local authorities there. But what Harry discovers there links Molnes’s death to illicit affairs, drugs and sex trade.

Fast paced, as usual, this book too takes you in its grip early on. The author has done a pretty good job of describing the settings and the situations so as to make it easy for a reader to visualize the story as it progresses – even for someone who knows very little about Thailand like me. There is, again as usual, some violence and lots of unpredictable twists and turns as is now expected from Harry Hole series. But what takes me by surprise every time is the character of Harry himself. He is essentially the same flawed self yet somehow different in every book. However, the climax was sort of a flurry and could have been better. But to be fair, this is one of the initial books by this author and after having read the latter books in the series, I can only say that the author goes on to improve in this matter over his next books.

This book, along with others in the series, is a Must Read for all Mystery/Thriller/Action lovers.

Buy This Book

1 comment:

  1. Jo Nesbo gets the mystery genre as good as anyone. If you're looking for a flawed but effective protagonist, Harry Hole is your bumpy hero. The nuance of Nesbo's characters is what really makes him a leader in this kind of book. He gives us a rounded view into every character, flaws and all. The tension is real since good people suffer and bad ones succeed - just like life. Dark, tense, human and very satisfying. I read all of his books.
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