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05 June 2014

Jo Nesbo: Police

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Can't connect with Harry Hole
POLICE has been on my bookshelf for some time as I try to start reading a series from the beginning. Before starting this book I read and was disappointed by #1 THE BAT and #2 THE COCKROACHES. Somehow I didn't connect with the character of Harry Hole and his police procedural/crime stories. It was clear that these books had been translated last because they weren't as good as later books so I eventually started to read POLICE hoping that I would enjoy #10 more than the earlier books.

Unfortunately that was not to be. The book never grabbed my attention and the many Norwegian names, places and terms that weren't translated mystified me and diverted my reading. The plot was obtuse, probably made more obtuse by translation, and I waited and waited till past one third of the book for Harry Hole, now retired from the police force, to come to the rescue of his former colleagues. Along the way Hole had to contend with sexual misconduct issues with one of his students that distracted me from an already twisted plot.

The result was that I gave up after reading just over half of the book. This is not something I do lightly and having read around 170 books in the last year I have only done this twice in the last 12 months. I am consoled that another top reviewer who I respect came to the same conclusion and didn't finish the book.

POLICE has been given glowing and enthusiastic reviews by HH fans worldwide so I am stunned that I see the book so differently to others. I recently read and really enjoyed (5 stars) Nesbo's recent standalone book THE SON which is not connected to the HH series. I am still puzzled to my reaction to POLICE but I did make several attempts to connect with the book. My reaction is bizarre but this is an honest review of the book.

My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book for review.

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