Monday, July 13, 2009

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

Published: Harvill Secker, 2005 (English translation: 2009)
ISBN: 9781846550409

First line: She was fourteen years old and sure that if she shut her eyes tight and concentrated she could see the stars through the roof.

It's nearly Christmas and a Salvation Army band is playing in one of Oslo's busiest streets. Suddenly, there is a shot and one of them falls down dead. It's obvious from the start that it is the work of a professional hit man; but why would anyone want to have a member of the Salvation Army murdered?

The hitman, a Croatian known as “the little redeemer”, a nickname he earned as a boy during the war against the Serbs, has his escape plans go terribly awry when bad weather delays his flight home. By the next day he has realised that he's killed the wrong man.

The police, in the meantime, have been able to discover both the gunman's identity, and his actual intended victim. The Redeemer, now a hunted fugitive, with no money, unable to use credit cards or mobile phone, and with just six bullets left, is determined to make good on the contract. There are many twists and turns as the police close in on the increasingly desperate gunman and the person who hired him.

The Redeemer is another wonderfully multi layered book in the Inspector Harry Hole series. The story is told partly from 'the little redeemer's' point of view, and through his eyes, we see the impact of the Croatian War of Independence which took place in the early 1990s . The Redeemer is both a product, and a victim of this terrible time in the history of the region. As we learn more about his background, our preconceived notions of good and bad are challenged. Are people who do bad things necessarily bad people?

Nesbo expertly juggles the various points of view, often using an intentionally confusing juxtaposition of the various characters' stories – cutting between them at similar points in the narrative. Nesbo cleverly misleads the reader again and again, but it is so well done that rather than feeling annoyed, you find yourself marvelling at how he does it.

Harry Hole goes about the investigation in his usual lone wolf style, using a combination of dogged police work and intuition that tends to put him at odds with his superiors. As the book opens, Harry's old boss and protector, Bjarne Moller, is transferring to a less stressful job in Bergen as a prelude to retirement. His new boss, Gunnar Hagen, has a military background and a fascination with Japanese military tactics. It's obvious he's not going to be happy with Harry's usual method of working.

Harry is one of the most intriquing characters in current crime fiction. He could be seen as just another in the long line of dour alcoholic loners who seem to populate fictional police forces worldwide, yet somehow Harry never seems like a cliché. Still struggling with his alcoholism, not always successfully, and not yet fully over the loss of a good friend and colleague in an earlier book, he is beginning to allow people into his life again. He still has warm feelings for his ex-girlfriend, and an almost fatherly attachment to her son.

This is the sixth in the Harry Hole series, although only the fourth to be available in English (the first two books are yet to be translated). As often happens, the books have been translated out of order, but newcomers to the series can now read books 3-6 in order, starting with The Readbreast. I would strongly recommend reading in order because of ongoing story elements.

Jo Nesbo has a very cool website that is worth a visit.

11 comments:

  1. Excellent review, Helen. I've recently finished this book and I think you sum it up in a very perceptive way - especially the shifting points of view and the way in whic Nesbo misleads the reader in a way that you have to admire him for, despite yourself!
    I found the salvation army aspects of the book not as interesting as the rest.

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  2. I ordered this book for my library and it has been out through interlibrary loan ever since. I finally put a hold on it because I want to read it.

    I hear from our head of ILL that the Scandinavian crime fiction books are the most popular items - they've stopped bothering to reshelve Nesbo because there's always another request in the queue. That makes me happy.

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  3. Thanks for your comments, Maxine. Those shifting POVs and deliberate misdirections should have been annoying, shouldn't they? No doubt they would have been in the hands of a lesser writer.

    I agree about the Salvation Army parts; but I did find the 'redeemer's' back story fascinating. It even made me search for more information on the war in Croatia.

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  4. You ordered it and didn't organise first dibs?! Very poor planning Barbara. :)

    That is good news about the Scandinavian crime books. The more popular they are, the more likely it is that more of them will be translated.

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  5. That's an excellent review. I'm just reading 'The Readbreast' and am in the process of gathering the rest of the series.

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  6. Thanks Snowbell! You're in for a treat with this series, and lucky you can read them in order. I love all of the Harry Hole books, but I think 'The Redbreast' is still my favourite.

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  7. Hello Helen, you've been quiet too long again! Hope to see you back blogging soon.

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  8. Oh oh my conscience (aka Maxine) is prodding me again! Yes, you're right, I'm long overdue for a post and once I can wrangle real life back into its box - and make it stay there - I'll be back more regularly. But I promise a review very soon.

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  9. BASTARD DREADFUL CRIMINAL DANIEL HEGGLIN EX MORGAN STANLEY SHOULD NOT TERRORIZE GOOGLE AS DEPRAVED SEX MANIAC MAX MOSLEY WANTS TO DO TOO! HE'S REALLY A PAEDERAST, A NAZIMAFIOSO TERRORIST, A PRINCIPAL OF MURDERS, A BRIBED WORM, A STINKY MARKET ABUSER!


    1
    I READ THIS TEXT TELLING ABSOLUTE TRUTHS!!!


    HI, I'M MICHELE CALZOLARI FROM CREDIT SUISSE AND ASSOSIM MILAN. I KNOW EVERYTHING BOUT ... "THE EXTREMELY DIRTY PART OF THE WORLD OF FINANCE AND BANKING".. SO... I NOW FEEL A DEEP DEEP, DEEP PASSION TO LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW BOUT ALL THIS!
    BASTARD DREADFUL CRIMINAL DANIEL HEGGLIN EX MORGAN STANLEY SHOULD NOT TERRORIZE GOOGLE AS DEPRAVED SEX MANIAC MAX MOSLEY WANTS TO DO TOO! HE'S REALLY A PAEDERAST, A NAZIMAFIOSO TERRORIST, A PRINCIPAL OF MURDERS, A BRIBED WORM, A STINKY MARKET ABUSER!
    THIS TEXT THAT HERE WILL FOLLOWS IS FANTASTIC AND TELLS US "UNTOUCHABLES" TRUTHFULNESSES ( "UNTOUCHABLES" FOR NAZIMAFIOSI PIG AND PIIG LIKE DANIEL HEGGLIN EX MORGAN STANLEY, NOT FOR TRULY DEMOCRATIC AND HONEST VALUES, SINCE ALWAYS, MINE))!!! SO I'LL PASS THE MEDIATIC LINE ( AND NOT COCAINE LINE, THAT BASTARD BRUTAL CRIMINAL DANIEL HEGGLIN EX MORGAN STANLEY KNOWS REAL WELL), NOW, TO MASSIMO, WHO IN THIS SCRIPT COMING, IS REALLY THE MAXIMUM OF HONESTY AND SUPER EXTRA DUE!!!


    Hello. I'm an ex colleague of the extremely stinky criminal Daniel "Danny" Hegglin ex Morgan Stanley and today i really would like "to empty the bag". My name is Massimo, i'm not english native, so, i'm not mother language as you will well see. But i'll write in my best possible english ( in more or less just an hour i have at disposal, to do it). I worked for many years in London, with the killing Hooligans of worldwide stock exchanges: Morgan Stanley (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/122335.Fiasco). Elbow to elbow with this absolute Jack the Ripper of international finance who is this really stinky shameless criminal bastard Daniel "Danny" Hegglin, now working by an immense Mafia Money Launderer Box called 4th dimension in Hong Kong http://hk.linkedin.com/pub/danny-hegglin/61/277/93 ( this very lousy crook of Daniel "Danny" Hegglin changes his name on the net from Dan to Danny to Daniel, continuously: typical of those who have lot of stinky things to hide, typical move of delinquent, typical move of "dark gray"collars, i wd say, more than white ones)! I saw with my eyes, i repeat, i saw with my eyes, this bastard mega corrupted, better to say, corru-p-ig and also corru-piig, Daniel Hegglin ex Morgan Stanley, getting 100.000, 200.000, 300.000 pounds, cash, put in handbgas. Inside various pubs close to his ex offices in Canary Wharf.
    " Nazifascist and pro Mafia Morgan Stanley & Co 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf London"

    Cause of immense insider dealings and sometimes even insider tradings he passed to colossal Cosa Nostra's money launderers like Ennio Doris and Massimo Doris from Banca 'Mafiolanum, Camorranum, Ndrangolanum, Nazistanum, Mediolanum' ( not for nothing, bank, "in fact", totally owned by disgusting pedophile and nazimalavitoso dictator Silvio Berlusconi.. and so... bank controlled by Cosa Nostra; choleraic rats Silvio Berlusconi, Marina Berlusconi, Ennio Doris, Massimo Doris and Mafia are same assassin shit since the 60's; since much more than half century; since verminous criminal Berlusconi's father, Luigi Berlusconi, used to wash oceans of killing Cosa Nostra's money in Banca Rasini; 'coincidentally' closed down by American Dea, cause was the bank of the most murderous gangs of half world, and not just sicilian world http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banca_Rasini).

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  10. 2

    Same cash and for same reasons, he used to get from another bastard super delinquent, close to lot of Mafia and NaziRacist international organizations: Paolo Barrai. Having an extremely fascist, mafia money laundering ( via Finter Bank Lugano, via Panama, via Dubai, via Marbella, via bitcoins) and inciting murdering violence blog called Mercato 'Merdato' Libero (bastard criminal excrement Paolo Barrai having already been condemned to big fines or jail, many times; by Consob; by Court in Milan; it looks like, also by Court in Biella; and incredibly by Court in Porto Seguro, Brazil; where they want him now for many years in prison.. for this reason, Hitlerian "jailbird" Paolo Barrai sometimes write of Brazil.. but never put a feet in Brazil anymore).


    Again and again and again: Same cash and for same reasons, he used to get from another well known corruptor, stinking Al Capone of Italian Bourse: Attilio Ventura, not for nothing, now in 'Mafiaset Hitlerset Mediaset' board http://www.mediaset.it/investor/governance/organi/scheda_9_it.shtml. And used to get other very criminal money from corruptor Francesco Perilli now heading Equita Sim Milan. And from 100s and 100s of other brokers all over Europe. Basically, if "Mussolinian Hooligans" from Morgan Stanley (like another bastard criminal: Michael Chinnick, now laundering lot of mafia assassin cash by Mandarin Capital Hong Kong: https://www.mdncapital.com/about-us) had to buy, for example, lot of Fiat, in Milan, "Jack the Ripper", loathsome worm Daniel Hegglin ex Morgan Stanley used to call "with his private mobile phone another private mobile phone" ( to circumvent the recording of calls, obviously). Belonging to one of noisome maggots above mentioned. And used to say


    'Ehy you my big Mafia Banker Ennio Doris.... you know, when you come next week to London.. can you take me that Armani's tie i love so much with code n3124'?
    Obviously, the translation of this sort of "full of swastika" secret language given in the pub was 'n' = buy, '3124' = Fiat ( "Jack the ripper', extremely rotten felon Daniel Hegglin 4th Dimension Hong Kong used to give to all his corrupting larvas s a list with all the european stocks, with close to any of them, a number: 3124, obviously was for Fiat). Cholaeric escrement Ennio Doris used to answer on the phone "yes Danny, certainly, thank you, actually, thank you". Then started to buy 1.000.000 Fiat for himself ( from his swiss bank account, in very criminal Arner Bank Lugano: pls google "vado riciclo e torno" that means "i go, i wash lot of killing mafia cash and i'll be back", bout mega mafia money launderings done by Ennio Doris and Massimo Doris from Banca Mediolanum http://espresso.repubblica.it/palazzo/2008/05/15/news/vado-riciclo-e-torno-1.8408). Then, "Hooligan"of Finance ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Partnoy) Morgan Stanley, used to arrive via "Jack the Ripper" bastard criminal Daniel Hegglin to buy 15.000.000s of Fiat in just one day. And immense gains to be shared 50 50 were made! Is also a bastard racist, part of many worldwide Ku Kluk Klan, repellent nazist Daniel Hegglin. Is also an extremely pervert paederast. He said many times, to me and many people "there is nothing wrong on fucking a boy or a girl who is 12 years old, i do it, i do it, i do it and even often... on the other hand... in the second or third world it happens every day... young female children.. there .. get pregnant at 12.. so i fuck lot of boys and girls, while they are 12... here in London.. or in my native Switzerland.. i pay and i do it".

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    As mentioned, is also a repulsive nazifascist ( he organized the Edward Snowden's hideout in Hong Kong, where he now launders immensely killing Triade Cash out of a very delinquent Box called "4th dimension" http://hk.linkedin.com/pub/danny-hegglin/61/277/931; and used to organize lot and lot of international murders made via various extreme right worldwide public and private intelligence agencies.. google 'daniel hegglin wikileaks' bout it, pls: http://search.wikileaks.org/gifiles/?viewemailid=3541810). In his houses there were ( and still are, cowardly hided, but still are) hundreds of gadgets, books, videos full of love for Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Augusto Pinochet, Francisco Franco, Alfredo Stroessner. But also very full of passion and love toward many nazifascist mega killing terrorists like The Skinhead International, Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, Alan Berg, Combat 18, Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, Order of Flemish Militants, Ordine Nuovo, White Order of Thule. This is the bastard extreme criminal Daniel "Danny Hegglin", not for nothing, fired by Morgan Stanley, fired by TT International, fired by Puricore and many other working places. And if Google will put the head down to him, will be the end of internet, will begin an era of bastard killing nazism all over the world, "ops, what a coincidence", what very fascist Vladimir Putin, Morgan Stanley, Jp Morgan ( who used to finance who killed 6 millions people: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini... never forget, please), as well as Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, Alan Berg, Combat 18, Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, Order of Flemish Militants, Ordine Nuovo, White Order of Thule exactly want! Massimo. For many years Morgan Stanley London. What i wrote is what i saw and with my own eyes. For many many many years! ModerNazifascist part of Cia, on order of ModerNazifascist and Pro Mafia: James Gorman and Eric Grossman from Morgan Stanley New York, will kill me now??? Better to die as a martyr, meant as a real man ( not certainly meant as other terrorists, like the islamic ones, mean). Who call things with the exact their name! So that the good may have more chances to win the evil. Better to die as a martyr, meant as a real man, than being falsely alive as a passive, amorphous, scared man made diarrea. Massimo a death man walking, now, BUT A REAL (death) MAN (walking).

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