The Cockroaches

The Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø http://www.b00kr3vi3ws.in/2013/12/Cockroaches.html


This book gave me the feeling of having traveled back in time! Yeah well, that is what should happen (doesn’t always do though) when you read the most recent book in the series just before going back to one of the first few. ‘Cockroaches’ is technically the second book in the Harry Hole Series but it has only recently been translated. The last Jo Nesbø book that I have read is Leopard (Harry Hole 8) and so it was both a nuisance and a pleasure to read this one now. A Nuisance because I already have a bit different image of Harry in my mind – the person he is in book 8. Harry is a character who often irritates you but knowing his past, readers’ cut some slack and to find this younger Harry is much more ‘amenable’ (that word is being used relatively and I never thought I would use that word to describe Harry) is certainly a pleasure.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand, Atle Molnes, is found dead in a brothel in a seedy neighborhood on the outskirts of Bangkok. As this news reaches Norway, there is a flurry of discussion and decisions as a result of which Harry is sent to Thailand to investigate the case and help the local authorities there. But what Harry discovers there links Molnes’s death to illicit affairs, drugs and sex trade.

Fast paced, as usual, this book too takes you in its grip early on. The author has done a pretty good job of describing the settings and the situations so as to make it easy for a reader to visualize the story as it progresses – even for someone who knows very little about Thailand like me. There is, again as usual, some violence and lots of unpredictable twists and turns as is now expected from Harry Hole series. But what takes me by surprise every time is the character of Harry himself. He is essentially the same flawed self yet somehow different in every book. However, the climax was sort of a flurry and could have been better. But to be fair, this is one of the initial books by this author and after having read the latter books in the series, I can only say that the author goes on to improve in this matter over his next books.

This book, along with others in the series, is a Must Read for all Mystery/Thriller/Action lovers.