Phantom, by Jo Nesbo (Harvill Secker, RRP $38):
In the latest instalment in the Harry Hole series, the ex-detective has returned to Oslo after spending three years in Hong Kong.
He asks his old boss if he can investigate a murder but permission is denied as the case is closed: the victim, a young junkie, was shot dead by a fellow addict.
However, he visits the alleged killer in jail and from there he strikes out on his own, discovering a trail of violence and disappearances that have gone unnoticed by the police.
In his quest to find the real killer of Gusto, the young drug addict, he ends up with an endless parade of suspects and moves through the seedy side of Oslo.
In typical Jo Nesbo fashion, the story is tricky, treacherous and poor old Harry ends up having a pretty rough time of it.
This is the ninth book in the Harry Hole series, the seventh to be translated into English, and with each book I’m becoming more and more of a fan.
I don’t know why we are seeing this trend for awesome crime novels from Scandinavian writers but I’m not complaining – although, I am a bit over seeing “the next Stieg Larsson” slapped across covers and reviews because Jo Nesbo and so many of the others are good enough to stand on their own merits.
If you haven’t discovered the joys of Jo Nesbo’s twisted mind, you don’t know what you are missing. I recommend reading all seven of the books in order.
However, if you don’t have time to do that, read Phantom because it might well get you hooked.