Harry is on a special mission.
Detective Harry Hole arrives in a steaming hot Bangkok. The Norwegian ambassador has been found dead in a seedy motel room, and Harry has been sent to investigate. It’s clear that the Ambassador’s family are hiding some secrets of their own, but few people are willing to talk. He needs to solve a crime and avoid a scandal.
When Harry lays hands on some incriminating CCTV footage, things only get more complicated. The man who gave him the tape goes missing, and Harry realises that failing to solve a murder case is by no means the only danger that faces the unwary. But in an unfamiliar city, who can you trust?
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- Ian C Robertson "Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't."
Disloyalty feels uncomfortable
Perhaps it is unwise to publish books out of the order in which they were written..but that is exactly what I would have changed. I have read that this was not a choice made by the author of course. Even if this novel was extensively reworked and/or re-translated, it remains a far lesser work than the subsequent novels by Nesbo.
How heartening to know that his writing could and did improve.
Very very tough to say. I have downloaded two more novels and been repelled by the narrator of one and the unmitigated morose content of the other.
My time was spent selecting the films from which so many of the scenes appeared to have been borrowed. The "climactic" almost last scene was utterly redolent of the film " Bladerunner" which accomplished the mood and emotion a tonne better. Sorry. It seems disloyal to say this about an author who did better, later.
Please. No. This is a squalid little story with such cardboard cut out figures populating a steamed up cellophane background..except the huge potential Nesbo discovered in the self destructive Harry Høle. Thankfully Harry was salvaged along with a couple of the more substantial, embryonic characters.
For anyone interested in learning a lot about how to make huge improvements in plotting narratives and character development, you would need to look no further than this series of novels. The author's upward trajectory from the insipid, silly " The Bat" through to the more mature novels in this repertoire is hugely interesting. It seems a rare experience to be able to witness such improvement in this genre. Most of the other proponents I am aware of hit a mark first up and then churn out more of the same.