Jo Nesbø. Nemesis. New York: Harper, 2009. 474 pages. ISBN 9780061655517.This is my second novel by Jo Nesbø, and I am now a confirmed fan. The first one I read introduced me to Harry Hole, an alcoholic police detective based in Oslo, Norway. There are ten Harry Hole novels that have been translated into English so far; this one is the fourth in the series, but the third to be translated, after The Devil’s Star and Redbreast (which is the one that I already read).
In this novel, Harry is in a committed relationship with Rakel, who is currently in Russia trying to keep custody of her son Oleg, whose father is Russian. Harry is approached by a former girlfriend, and he is tempted to spend some time catching up with her. However, after an evening with Anna, he wakes up and can’t remember the previous evening at all, and when he finds out she’s been murdered, he realizes that he has to solve the murder or he may end up being implicated for it.At the same time that all of this is going on there’s a series of bank robberies in which the teller is threatened with murder if the money isn’t handed over quickly enough. And Harry is also fighting with his old nemesis, Tom Waaler, whom Harry suspects of murdering his former partner Ellen. There are enough twists and turns in the plot of Nemesis to keep you wondering the whole time. Harry is a very sympathetic character who nevertheless makes serious mistakes, especially as regards to his consumption of alcohol.
Jo Nesbø is another excellent Scandinavian mystery/detective/thriller writer. I’m looking forward to reading more of his works. I recommend Nemesis to anyone who likes Stieg Larsson or Jussi Adler-Olsen.