Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole is not "whole".  And I'm not talking about his missing index finger.  Somehow he has lost part of his soul, too.

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this book in ebook form for review (thank you).  I had previously read "The Snowman" and was looking forward to reading this new mystery.  I didn't think Mr. Nesbo could scare me so badly again, but he did.

The story begins with a young woman being held captive in a room she doesn't recognize.  She has something big in her mouth and she's having trouble breathing.  But her captor doesn't appear to be coming back.  When he left, he told her not to pull the string.  But her mouth hurts, she can't breath, and she's desperate...

When a second woman is found dead from the same unique killing device, a decision is made to go find Harry Hole and bring him home.  Harry is hanging out in Hong Kong and using opium to forget the past, he has no desire to go back.  When the policewoman cannot get him to change his mind, she plays her hole card:  His father is ill and dying.  So Harry goes back to Oslo against his better instincts.

This author creates evil mysteries that go far beyond the current event.  The past and the future are intertwined in his stories.  And the murders are never simple.  They're ugly, the journey to solve the murder is full of traps and lies, and Harry comes close to losing his life.  

This was a creepy story that kept me glued to it.  I hated to set it down.  And when it was over, I sat there and thought about it.  I don't think this story is really over yet; there's one more character out there I think Mr. Nesbo may insert him in another story.  He's like that; you know, sneaky.

This author's stories are complex, absorbing and make an impression upon you.  I look forward to reading the next one in this series, even though I do feel sorry for Harry.

Happy reading.

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