The Leopard Book Review

The Leopard Book Review

Title: The Leopard
Author: Jo Nesbø
Published: 2012, Vintage First Edition
No. of Pages: 688
Cover Price: $14.99 Paperback, $5.99 Kindle

Gunnar Hagen, Crime Squad chief, is convinced that his former Detective, Harry Hole, is the only one that can solve several ongoing brutal serial killings. He sends one of his detectives, Kaja Soleness, to Hong Kong to try to persuade Hole to come back to Oslo. Harry refuses, of course, but when given the news that his father is dying, reluctantly follows Kaja to Oslo.

Harry isn't a typical detective hero; rather, he is a chain-smoking drug addict and alcoholic, and enjoys his life in Hong Kong. During his last investigation in The Snowman, he became quite well-known for solving the crime, but lost his one true love when she barely survived the Snowman's attack; he wants no part of the notoriety, and prefers to be unreachable. It doesn't help that a very ambitious, albeit nefarious, Kripos (Kriminalpolitisentralen) chief, Mikael Bellman, is trying to get all murder investigations taken away from Crime Squad and assigned only to his department – a political move that, if it comes to pass, will make the Crime Squad appear incompetent in the eyes of the residents. Another conflict is that there is a mole in Crime Squad who is feeding critical information to Kripos so that Kripos is always one step ahead. All of this may seem overwhelming, but it works.

There is a lot happening in this novel, and with the sometimes difficult Norwegian names, it is occasionally difficult to follow unless one pays careful attention. However, the translation is excellent, the story flows, and Harry Hole fans who are used to Nesbø's writing style will savor every edge-of-the-seat moment in the novel (and there are many). There is a reason that Nesbø is one of the top-ten bestselling thriller authors in the world, and it will be obvious as the novel becomes impossible to put down.

It is a good idea to read Nesbø's novels in order because Hole's character evolves and changes in each book. However, it isn't absolutely necessary – this is a great book whether or not readers are familiar with the history. The focus on Norway and the different cultural aspects make the novel even more intriguing, and Nesbø's excellent writing makes it real for those who haven't visited. The Leopard is highly recommended.

This book was purchased with personal funds and no promotion of the book was solicited by the author or publisher.

This book may be purchased at Amazon: The Leopard: A Harry Hole Novel Paperback Edition
The Leopard: A Harry Hole Novel Kindle Edition

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