The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo
Originally Published: 2003
The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo is the 5th in the Norwegian Detective Harry Hole series.
Harry’s days in the police service may be over. He is on notice. After spending much of the last five months trying to build a case against his fellow police officer Tom Waaler for the death of Harry’s partner Ellen, he has failed. His last chance of producing a witness has vanished. He knows Waaler is dirty, but can’t prove anything. Along with this hopes of proving Tom guilty, he has lost Rakel and her son Oleg who had become the only light in his life. He has also lost his sobriety. He spends more time with a bottle than with any human, and his days are passing in a stupor.
Harry’s boss has tried to help, but to no avail. He knows that the only way Harry can get his sanity back is to work. But the case he will assign to Harry will either heal him or break him. Harry will have to work with Tom Waaler.
A woman is found in her apartment with her finger missing and a blood red diamond in the shape of a star is found under her eyelid. Harry is intrigued, and when another body is found, he admits that if he has to work with Waaler to solve this case, so be it.
Although I find Nesbo a little long-winded at times, his plots are always interesting, and the dynamics between his characters is strong. Harry himself is an enigma. A sometimes raving alcoholic, but with one of the best solve rates in the force. Not a team player, yet always convincing someone to help him. Not great in the romance department, but managed to find a wonderful woman who cares for him (when he’s not pushing her away).
Nesbo’s talent for writing deep characters and plots with twists leave me anxious for the next one, but knowing I need a break between books.
p.s. I am still struggling with the place names and those of the characters. Maybe I need a map and pronunciation guide.
Read: January 2018
Favorite Quotes from The Devil’s Star:
“The Chief Inspector sighed when his finger stopped against the name he had been hoping to avoid. Harry Hole. The lone wolf, the drunk, the department’s enfant terrible and, apart from Tom Waaler, the best detective on the sixth floor.”
“To have the chance of being loved we have to take a chance on being destroyed inside.”
“‘It’s what we call a mare cross, or a devil’s star.’
‘A mare cross?’
‘A pagan symbol. They used to carve it over beds or doorways to keep away the mare.’
‘The mare, yes. As in nightmare. A female demon who sits on the chest of a sleeping person and rides him so that he has bad dreams.”
About the Author: Jo Nesbo (1960 – ) (pronounced “you nesbaugh”) is a Norwegian author. When his dreams of being a soccer star were dashed by an injury, he entered the military, then he entered the world of finance, then formed several bands. Then he started writing. He has never stopped. Apparently he still rock climbs.