Monday, February 21, 2011

'The Devil's Star' by Jo Nesbo

  Synopsis from TLC:
In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat-with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner. When another woman is reported missing five days later, and her severed finger turns up adorned with a red star-shaped diamond ring, Harry fears a serial killer is at work. But Hole’sdetermination to capture a fiend and to expose Waaler’s crimes is leading him into shadowy places where both investigations merge in unexpected ways, forcing him to make difficult decisions about a future he may not live to see.

His finger continued down the column. Leave, leave, sick leave. The Chief Inspector sighed when his finger stopped against the name he had been hoping to avoid.
  Harry Hole.
  The lone wolf, the drunk, the department's enfant terrible and, apart from Tom Waaler, the best detective on the sixth floor. [p.13]

.....this is the sentence where the reader firsts encounters Harry Hole and how he is perceived by his boss. I was immediately drawn to him for some reason. I like characters that aren't perfect and seem to be fighting demons in their life. It makes them real, gives them flaws, and makes you care about them, because they sound a bit like yourself in ways. This book was my first introduction to the whole Scandinavian crime genre that seems to have really taken off with the introduction of Stieg Larsson's Millenium series.

There were many reasons why I loved this book and couldn't put it down until the very last page. Here's just a few of them:
  • Harry Hole is a character that I needed to learn more about what made him tick and his complex layers. I found myself at times wanting to hug him, smack him, follow him, learn from him, and just to be in his presence. He's driven by demons, but by also what he believes to be right. He's one step ahead of his enemies and he keeps his cards close to his vest, yet he's still so very vulnerable. This character bored a hole into my head and heart and now I need more!!!!!
  • The storyline was taut, intricate and brilliantly woven together. At times I actually thought I was on to something, but the ending totally blew me away.
  • This police procedural is fantastic reading and there was never a dull moment or a time when I didn't want to get back into this story.   

Recommend? Absolutely with no hesitation. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I really didn't want it to end. The plus side- there are two Harry Hole's stories prior to The Devil's Star that I will be getting my hands on soon. Must read book for those that love an exciting, bit gritty and gruesome police thriller!!

P.S. While I read this book I used the author as my visual for Harry wonder I loved him so much huh?

Rating: 4.5/5

About Jo Nesbø

A musician, songwriter, and economist, Jo Nesbø is also one of Europe’s most acclaimed crime writers. Nesbø is the winner of the Glass Key Award, northern Europe’s most prestigious crime-fiction prize, for his first novel featuring Police Detective Harry Hole. The author of The Redbreast and Nemesis, he lives in Oslo.
Find out more about Jo Nesbø on his website. You can also like him on Facebook.

Please stop by these blogs on this tour.

Published: 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Genre: Fantastic Police Procedural/Thriller
ISBN: 9780061133985
Disclaimer:Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. This sounds so good! I have another of the author's books, one of the earlier ones in the series, I believe, but haven't gotten to it yet.

  2. Ohhhhhhhhh I love a good murder/mystery! This sounds awesome! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. I have this on reserve in the library; I can't wait to read it!

  4. Will be checking this author out for sure.

  5. I'm with you - I can't stand perfect characters - they're too unbelievable. I'm anxious to try Nesbo's work.

  6. I love crime novels and this one sound amazing, and I must say the author is a real hottie. Great review. Think I will have to buy this one for my sister and read it before I give it to her!

  7. Big no for me, I truly hate Scandinavian crime, I honestly think we write nothing else here

  8. I do like crime novels and this one sounds good. I loved your review!

  9. I think I may have to read this one. Thank you for the review.

  10. Wonderful review, Staci! I really liked Devil's Star too when I read it. I am in love with Harry Hole :-) he was my dicovery last year. Wait until you read The Redeemer! I just finished it, and haven't reviewed it because there's so much in it and I don't quite know what to say that won't make it sound like I've forgotten how to analyze a book!

    By the way, I think Redbreast comes first, because that's where we meet Ellen and Tom Waaler and what happens to her - it made me cry. You have got to read it next!

  11. Oh yeah, the author makes a definite addition to the book if you visualize him as the main character - woohoo!

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one and I really hope more people pick it up - it seems like an excellent addition to the genre, and it is part of a series as well so that's always a bonus.

  12. Not sure this is for me but I'm glad you liked it so much!

  13. I can see why you used him for the visual :) I read one Scandinavian mystery before and enjoyed it. I will keep this in mind. Thanks Staci.

  14. This book is on my wish list. Great review!

  15. I had the chance to read this one but because of some mailing mixup it didn't happen. SOunds awesome!! great review!

  16. I've read several books in the Scandinavian crime genre lately but none of this authors. I'm going to have to get this one, it sounds great. thanks for the recommendation!

  17. Great that you liked it! I do have a thing for Harry Hole, he is a really cool character! You need to read The Saviour as well, it is Harry Hole at his best.

  18. Great review Staci (here's mine I also find the character of Harry Hole intriguing but I didn't "like" him.

    Part of the charm of the book, for me, was an unlikeable hero whose life is a total mess by his own doing. Yet he is so good at what he does (solve crimes) that they actually let him stay on the job.

  19. I was just thinking that I needed a good thriller to check out. Thanks for sharing because now I'm off to request this one from the library. Great review!

  20. I'll definitely keep this one in mind. I don't read too many crime novels because I'm less than thrilled with how they end, usually having some idea of how it will turn out ahead of time. Glad to hear that the ending of this one surprised you!

  21. Great review! I have this one and I can't wait to read it!

  22. Loved your review and I can see how picturing the author as Harry Hole would add a certain something LOL.
    Always keen to add a new suspense/thriller/police procedural to my library so thanks for the spotlight Staci :)

  23. Scandinavian and a mystery? Fits two of my goals for March. I'm going to have to get hold of a copy. Plus, I've got to say that Nesbo is kind of nice on the eyes!

  24. This looks like a must-read for me too. I love police procedurals if they're not too bloody. I also like that it has won an award as well. I'm off to check the library catalog.

  25. Another series I haven't started, but have wanted to for years now! I have several on my TBR shelves, so there's no excuse, except for the lack of time. I just can't get to all the books that call my name. Hopefully it'll happen soon for this one.


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