Best Norwegian crime novel of all time

 Type:Culture, Literature

Voted the 'Best Norwegian Crime Novel of All Time', Jo Nesbø's novel 'The Redbreast' finally hits British book stores in September.

The book, published by Harvill Secker and translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett, is set in the weeks before the new millennium. It follows Harry Hole, a police officer of seven years and a recovering alcoholic, who is forced to make a judgement call which ultimately and unexpectedly results in his promotion to inspector. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until he hears of an unusual gun being fired.  Then a former World War II soldier is found with his throat cut and things take a bloody turn.

Set three years before Nesbø’s novel ‘The Devil’s Star’, ‘The Redbreast’ helps the readers to understand Harry Hole.  His dry humour is infectious and his brotherly relationship with his police partner, Ellen is vividly portrayed. Readers witness his first meeting with his future nemesis Tom Waaler and watch him fall in love with the beautiful Rakel. And then it all falls apart – and this is just the subplot as Harry’s main concern is catching a serial killer whose first victim fell in the trenches at Leningrad in 1944.

'The Redbreast' has won the Glass Key for best Nordic crime novel, The Riverton Prize and Norway’s Booksellers’ Prize. In 2004 it was voted the Best Norwegian Crime Novel of All Time by members of Norwegian book clubs. Jo Nesbø, the man behind the bestselling Harry Hole crime series, is also a successful musician and economist. His first novel to be published in English was 'The Devil's Child', which sold more than 100,000 copies in Norway alone.

'The Redbreast' is out in the UK on 7 September.

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Jo Nesbø's 'The Redbreast' is out on 7 September