I don’t quite know whose this book is – it crept into the house over Christmas somehow – but anyway I grabbed it to read on the train up to Glasgow. It’s a fairly gruesome story of a serial killer being (eventually) tracked down by Nesbo’s policeman Harry Hole, and as such it’s fairly formulaic. On a couple of occasions the investigation is about to be wound up because they’ve “caught” the killer... but of course we all know they haven’t done so yet. And so Harry has another revelation and hey-ho, it’s off serial-killer hunting we go again.
  I didn’t like the first few pages. They read as if somebody has said “Jo, you’ve got to have some sex, something frightening, and something about children being threatened in the first few pages, and after that do what you want”.  Formulaic isn’t the word.  But after that, when Harry Hole is introduced and the plot starts moving, the book is more fun to read.  Harry is also a formula on legs – brilliant cop, drink problem, lost his wife because always immersed in his work etc etc – but he’s sufficiently well described for this not to matter.  The book bombs along with plenty of little twists and horrible incidents.  I wouldn’t say it was the best detective/thriller I’ve ever read, but neither was it the worst. Would I recommend it?  Hmm.  If you’re a fan of this genre, then yes, you’ll probably enjoy it.  If you’re not a fan and therefore need something out of the ordinary to tempt you to read this sort of book, then no, I’d wait for something better to come along.
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