Reading dates: 19 July to 27 August 2018
This novel has won a lot of crime fiction awards and it has some clever narrative devices but I found it tedious. Despite the fact that it is interesting to find out Norway’s role in the conflict, the flashbacks into the WWII scenes were breaking the flow of my reading. I felt as if there were two books into one and I could not manage to get into either. There are too many characters, too many people who appear and disappear. The plot resolution is far fetched and leaves a few loose ends. The opening scene has very little relevance to the story other than for the purposes of a call back. It is ok, but I could see it coming, and it is clumsy. Some characters’ fate gets repeated in later books. Fair enough, I read the series out of sequence and this is the first occurrence, but it makes Harry Hole a bit of a jinxed man, gives an awkward sense of déjà vu, and feels lazy.
Still, it was very nice to find out the back story of Rakel Fauke and how Harry and met her. Harry Hole is a fabulous character: brilliant, flawed, funny, sexy, unpredictable at times. If you like him, this is worth reading, to understand how he develops in the later books.