The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo is reminiscent of Ian Ranking, Michael Connelly, and Henning Mankell, who writes the Kurt Wallander mystery series. The detective in The Devil’s Star, is Harry Hole, a periodic binge drinker, who is opposed to being a team player. Though the most competent detective on the force, Hole’s drinking keeps him in trouble with his superiors and in his personal life. There are eight Hole novels in the series, but not all of them have had English translations, yet.
In this novel, several women have been killed. Each one has had a finger cut off and a red star-shaped diamond left somewhere on the body. Harry is put on the case with Tom Waaler, a colleague he neither likes nor trusts. Harry has been investigating Waaler on the side as he believes Waaler is the head of a gun-smuggling operation.
For the most part, the translation to English works. There are a few slang words and some turns of phrase that may sound stilted to American readers.
Nesbo won the Riverton Prize 1997 for Best Norwegian Crime Novel of the Year, The Bat Man, his debut Harry Hole novel. He has also won the 1998 Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year (The Bat Man), the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize for Best Novel of the Year 2000 (The Redbreast), and The Norwegian Book Club Prize 2008 for Best Novel of the Year (The Snowman), and many other awards for his writing.
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