Police, by Jo Nesbø

Jo Nesbø's Police gives us a Harry Hole we haven't seen before. For the first time in a long time, Harry is happy. He's not drinking. He's not alone. He has a job teaching at the police academy that keeps him far enough away from cases that he doesn't disappear into the chase. Because this is a Jo Nesbø novel, we know that something is going to pull Harry back into his danger zone.

That something is a strange series of murders of current and former policemen. The officers are being murdered at the scene of their biggest failures, where the victims of crimes they didn't solve died. Mikael Bellman, one of Harry's enemies from the police force, is the Chief of Police. Apart from his extracurricular activities, Bellman is by-the-book and hates any hint of his officers trying to use Harry's unconventional methods. Unfortunately, this means that little progress is made until Gunnar Hagan, Harry's old boss, pulls the old team together and sets them up as a secret investigation group in police headquarter's boiler room. As if this case weren't enough, Harry is being hounded by a student who thinks she's in love with him, Bellman's plots are unraveling, and someone begins stalking the daughter of the team's psychiatrist.

From the moment I picked this book, I had a very hard time putting it down. There was just so much going on. And yet, Police doesn't feel overstuffed at all thanks to Nesbø's skilled juggling of storylines and character motivation. The other thing that had me hooked deep into this book was the slippery way that Nesbø writes cliff hangers. I want to shake the hand of the translator who preserved they tricky way Nesbø deploys pronouns and hides just enough detail to make you genuinely fear that a main character is going to die. And I'll keep falling for it because Nesbø has a history of actually killing off major characters just often enough that this time, he might not be messing with me. Even Jeffrey Deaver doesn't fool me the way Nesbø can.

Even the ending of the book hasn't let me go yet. I finished reading the book two days ago and I'm still worried about the character that Nesbø left twisting in the wind.

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