Monday, February 18, 2013

Book 21: Nemesis

Technically the fourth Harry Hole novel, it is the second one available in English (at least in the US), and takes place after The Redbreast.  Rakel and Harry are still seeing each other, but the custody battle that started in The Redbreast is ongoing, so that Rakel actually spends the entire novel in Russia, attempting to keep custody of her son Oleg.  Due to Rakel's absence, Harry accepts an invite from an ex-girlfriend for dinner, one of the first mistakes he will make throughout the novel.  At the same time that Harry and Anna decide to catch up, Harry is working a bank robbery case - this may seem a bit of a surprise given that Harry is usually involved in murder investigations, but this particular bank robbery ended with the death of one of the bank employees.  The robbery itself was immaculately conceived and executed.  Being Harry, he naturally sees things in a different way than the investigator in charge of the case, and quickly butts heads with him until he receives permission to run a separate task force to ensure they are staying open to fresh ideas.  The task force is comprised of Harry and Beate Lonn, daughter of a cop killed on duty, who has the ability to remember every face she has ever seen.
The night after Harry's dinner, he wakes up at his apartment with a hangover, and no memory of the previous night - he doesn't remember seeing Anna or getting home.  That morning he is assigned to a case with Tom Waaler, whom readers will remember from The Redbreast.  Next thing Harry knows, he finds himself at Anna's apartment, an apparent suicide victim, but things don't add up to Harry.  While admitting that he had seen her the previous evening or that he knew the victim may have helped lead to an investigation, Harry instead investigates her death independently and quickly narrows in on a possible suspect.
There is also some overlap between the two cases since it turns out that Anna's uncle is an infamous bank robber that may be able to provide information regarding the robbery that started the novel.  Overall, I was much more interested in the bank robbery and murder than Anna's murder.  I think this had a lot to do with the fact that I thought Harry was making stupid decisions in regard to Anna's case, and I was not at all convinced that he was going after the right suspect.  Something about the case was off to me, and it irritated me that he was pursuing it like a dog with a bone.  Other than that, I would say this was another tightly plotted mystery with a good amount of twists, though there were a few too many with regard to one of the cases.  Overall, I would say The Redbreast was the better book, but I'm still looking forward to continuing the series, especially since I have gotten the impression that some of the more recent ones are especially good.

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