#LipglossmaffiaBookclub: The Redeemer || Jo Nesbø…
Welcome back to book review session of the blog! I hope you have been keeping up with the #ReadingChallenge? We are almost done with the first half of the year and I have read so many interesting books already. Been introduced to so many new authors, local and international ones and the best part is the new friends I have made on Instagram in the reading community(#Bookstagram). These reviews only comes up twice a month but I do post other books that I’m reading on Instagram, so you should definitely check out@lipglossmaffia for more book recommendations. Meanwhile, if you would like to keep up with the challenge, here is the 2017 reading challenge.
For my eleventh pick, I chose…
*A Book That Was Translated To English
Title: The Redeemer
Genre: Fiction, Crime
Release Date: 2009
My Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Summary: It is a freezing December night and Christmas shoppers have gathered to listen to a Salvation Army carol concert. Then a shot rings out and one of the singers falls to the floor, dead. Detective Harry Hole and his ream are called in to investigate but have little to work with — there is no immediate suspect, no weapon and no motive. But when the assassin discovers he’s shot the wrong man, Harry finds his troubles have only just begun.
The legendary Michael Connelly said this book had his “pulse in the red zone from start to finish“, and I think that was what deceived me. This book dragged for so long before I could get any action, but when the action started(at the middle), there was no stopping!
The Redeemer is a thriller from the Norwegian Jo Nesbo and features his alcoholic maverick cop, Inspector Harry Hole. It begins with a rape at a Salvation Army summer school, then leaps forward twelve years and two seasons, to freezing cold Oslo at Christmas. The Salvation Army is doing good works among the homeless junkies of the Norwegian capital. One of them has slipped through the safety net, and Harry Hole is investigating his apparent suicide when one of the Army officers is executed by a professional hit man. The assassin, a product of the war in the former Yugoslavia, realises he has murdered the wrong man but by now the indomitable Harry Hole is on the case.
The Redeemer has attracted equally high praise elsewhere, but I found it a slightly odd book. Nesbo spends a lot of time examining the formative years of the assassin, to such an extent that the reader becomes increasingly sympathetic to him as a character, especially after his mission goes awry and his situation becomes increasingly dire with the police closing in. The same approach of examining in some detail the nature and nurture of many of the other characters, while interesting to a point, seems a little out of place in a book that is supposed to be a fast-paced thriller. The effect, on this particular reader at least, was to promote a kind of universal empathy, to the extent that I wasn’t particularly rooting for one side over another. Technically, it was all very good, but although I was entertained, I had no interest in the eventual outcome.
With too many themes and too many sub-plots it felt to me that Nesbo was trying too hard. In places, too, the book read like a film script, with an over-abundance of ‘cut-to’ scenes (the whole of chapter two, for example), and while the sudden jumping from scene to scene might work in a movie, on the page it had the counter-effect of diluting the tension. On the positive side, there were a number of well-worked set-piece scenes (a vacuum cleaner used as an instrument of torture, for instance) and Harry Hole’s fluctuating relationships with alcohol and the opposite sex is always interesting.
Perhaps I was expecting too much after I read that Jo Nesbo is the “next Stieg Larsson“, whatever the reason, while an enjoyable read, I’m afraid I found The Redeemer was as exciting as I wanted it to be.
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