Jo Nesbø is an immensely popular crime writer from Norway, and this is the first of his series starring Detective Harry Hole. I read The Snowman earlier this year, and there were several mentions an earlier case of Hole’s involving a serial killer in Australia. Though I hadn’t been a huge fan of The Snowman, I was interested enough in the Australian setting to give this novel a go.
Harry Hole has been dispatched to Sydney, Australia to assist the local police in the case of a murdered Norwegian girl on holiday. It soon becomes apparent that this murder is simply the latest in a string of murders that had been thought unrelated before now. Harry works with the Sydney police in following the trail to unravel the case…. meh. It’s a pretty standard detective novel really.
I don’t know why I keep reading books set in Australia that are full of the most cringe-worthy Australian stereotypes. Seriously, NO ONE in Australia speaks like this. I did like the character of Andrew Kensington, a local Aboriginal officer and the way Dreamtime legends were woven into the story.
There was something about this novel that stopped me from becoming caught up with it. Whether it was the inappropriate Australianisms, the story or the character of Harry Hole himself, I always felt at a bit of a distance. I know this series is a very popular one, but it’s obvious that it’s just not my cup of tea. I’d be interested in hearing from fans of the series whether any of the remaining novels are particular standouts that would perhaps turn me around.