Right, I know I’m not reading the Jo Nesbo books in the right order…but next time, I will! Well, I’ll try!
It is due to the strength of Nesbo’s writing that I can read them in this order and still know exactly what’s going on. Harry Hole is the kind of character who bumbles around, frowning, hating the world and most of its inhabitants…so although circumstances might change for him…his attitude rarely does, so from one book to another, it is easy to ignore the ‘correct’ order of reading and just enjoy the books!
So, back on subject…The Redbreast is technically the 3rd in the Harry Hole series – the full order can be found on the Jo Nesbo website
…and I actually haven’t read the books preceding it…but as I said, that doesn’t matter! This book jumps between 1944 on the Eastern Front and 1999 in Oslo, with chilling narratives in both times. Firstly, we’re transported to trenches just outside Leningrad where a group of soldiers fight for freedom. A bold, confident man named Daniel Gudeson is shot during this time and laid in a mass grave…however a while later, a man claiming to be Daniel turns up in a military hospital and falls in love with a nurse there, Helene. When he has recovered, he is called up to be sent to a notoriously dangerous area of the Eastern Front so they plot their escape. Fast forward to 1999 and an old man wanders the streets of Oslo after receiving some bad news from the doctor…he infers that he has one final thing to do before he dies.
So, where is Harry Hole in all of this madness I hear you cry!? Well, after characteristically but accidentally shooting an American secret service agent during a Presidential visit to Norway, Hole has been moved to the secret service unit and promoted to Inspector…he has also been packed off to an office to sift through a report on a low-priority case…regarding suspected arms dealers and old/new Nazis…ooOOoh! Exactly! So, there is a lot to get your head around but it is definitely worth it! I think you’ve probably already guessed that Harry doesn’t just sit at the desk for the whole book…
Mixing past, present and future, this book is fantastic and certainly keeps you on your toes! Another cracking book from Nesbo…just need to get my hands on the others now!