Phantom

Phantom - Jo Nesbø Harry Hole, former detective with Oslo police detective, has been away from the city for quite some time. He returns to the city in order to aid the son of his former lover. Oleg has been imprisoned on the charges of murdering a drug dealer. Though the murder weapon was never found, there are enough circumstantial evidences pointing at Oleg for the local police to look no further than him. But Harry has a personal interest in this case and thus, even though the police refuse to help him – to them the case is solved – he delves into it on its own. But there’s someone else who doesn’t want Harry back in Oslo. Who is it and why?

When I got this book for review, I realized that this is the 9th book in the series. So, obviously I did a little bit of background research so that I had a bit of idea about what to expect – because obviously in a series, even in stand-alone titles featuring the same protagonist, the character slowly develops. Information is slowly provided over each title. I mean you cannot expect to know everything about Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes by reading a single story, can you? Jo Nesbø’s website actually has Harry Hole’s Curriculum Vitae! Frankly speaking I wasn’t impressed – I mean who thinks Mel Gibson’s ‘Braveheart’ is complete rubbish? Who??

So, needless to say that I was not very excited about the book when I finally picked it up. I shouldn’t have been apprehensive! Jo Nesbø had me from the very first paragraph of the very first chapter. To say it was gripping would be a gross understatement. The pages seemed to keep turning on its own accord and before I knew, I was done reading it. The plot has murder, conspiracies, drug cartel, getting back with lost love and a ‘phantom’ man, in short, everything interesting. Without giving out any spoilers, I can say you also get a glimpse at true ‘animal instinct’ and that completely blew me away. The pace that the story has is also exactly perfect. It is neither too fast nor too slow. The author has provided enough information in the book to put a first time reader like me at ease and ‘in’ the story. There are a number of twists and I think it is pretty safe to say that guessing them all right is pretty impossible. At the center of it all is this weirdo (Sorry, still upset about the Braveheart thing) who is absolutely surprising in a very pleasant way. Harry Hole has taken me with surprise with the many shades of his characters. Though I was completely disturbed by the ending, obviously because I did not see it coming, it was interesting to be able to get into his mind. There’s certain darkness in him that actually makes him good at what he does – kinda like Batman.

Also, I have to acknowledge the translator, Don Bartlett. He has done a great job.

Would I read his other books? Hell yeah. And do I recommend this book – Yes, yes, yes! Go get your copy while I am off to get myself the previous books in the Harry Hole Series.