The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

Was clearing off my desk when I found the notes I wrote just after finishing The Redbreast, which I intended to turn into a thoughtful review of the book.  Anyway, here they are.

Avidbookreader recommended Jo Nesbo’s books; I tend to pay attention to her recommendations, because they are usually compatible with my reading tastes.  I put Nesbo on my "try someday" list.  But then his most recent translation was reviewed in the Post — some sort of American book tour? — which prompted me to find a print copy.  (Why a print copy, when I prefer ebooks?  Because there is no e-version available, which is a travesty.)

I struggled with The Redbreast at first, didn’t feel engaged and wasn’t in the mood for suspense.  Picked up the book a second time and couldn’t put it down, resented having to do work and go on a planned outing — it cut into my reading time!

Narrative style: present day threads and World War II threads; POV 3rd personal with a variety of perspectives — Harry, Ellen, several minor characters, plus the Evil Doer.

Dangling thread: the larger suspense plot was resolved, but a small dangling thread was left behind.  Am curious about whether it will be caught/solved in future books or not.

Am curious about Harry Hole’s backstory.  Want to read Nemesis now, and am interested in Norway’s role in WWII, which was generally not covered in my world history survey classes in school.

As I read the sections of Big Bad’s current POV, I tried to figure out who it was, based on the historical passages.  Half way through, I decided I was losing my marbles because the killer I suspected was *dead*, shown dying graphically on the page, so how could it possibly be him?  Which is exactly what Nesbo wanted, I’m guessing, based on how the book is constructed.

It was creepy in the very best of ways.

Very good red herring.  That was just not-quite-right, and led me to the final Bad Guy, although I had *NOT* guessed his history, and the how/why.

Other thoughts:  Why is this book not available in e-format?  The next book, Nemesis, is.  That makes no sense.   

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

  1. Anonymous

    No ebook version of The Redbreast, unfortunately.
    I’m hoping there will be an ebook copy someday but being it’s his “first” translated book and it garnered many awards, not sure what the hold up is but I am always looking for an e-version. I’ve read three of his books already. The thread you are referring to gets resolved and quite nicely too. I find this man quite brilliant with writing threads that are all over the place and then is able to tie them up neatly at the end. I love his work.

  2. Anonymous

    Forgot to sign my name
    Forgot to sign my name, Keishon, at the end of the last comment.

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