The Leopard by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Harry Hole is hiding in a hole in Hong Kong, sleeping his days off, gambling away his time and in the process getting himself deeper in debt, owing money to the Triad. In the midst of such heartbreaking atmosphere, Oslo police sends a one man search team to find out Hole and bring him back to Norway, as his expertise suddenly are in much demand, as another serial killer has started business and have already claimed three clients. His modus-operandi is unique, as he uses an old Belgian torture device called Leopold’s Apple to torture and murder his victims, all female. Hole back in Norway is assigned the case unofficially as he begins to move through the murky waters on Police politics and African colonists to uncover the grisly truth.
I had two reasons for being frightened that I might just end up not finishing this book.
1. 900+ pages. Daunting and somewhat wary-ish. I dont look forward to reading 900+ pages long crime books. 900+ pages mean that the book, in tune with my schedule, is going to be a long read. And, I don’t like a thriller which becomes long drawn, somehow I feel less inclined towards the book after a span of 4-5 days.
2. This was the 8th Hole novel. And I was not sure whether I could tune in into the booka dn the character. As so much has been written about this character and series, somehow I had the feeling that I might miss out or feel left out of the whole “HARRY HOLE” persona. And end up not enjoying as much as I should have liked to.
But, within 50 pages I knew that both the above mentioned points were not gonna stop me from taking as much pleasure possible from reading this book. Make no mistake, this one had all the stereotypes associated with a police procedural featuring a serial killer. It had,
1. A serial killer.
2. Female victims.
3. (most importantly) A disgruntled, broken down police officer who is not much obedient and has constantly been in trouble with his superiors.
4. A plot laced with internal police politics.
But, despite these points Nesbo managed to write a book and create a plot which not only spans from Europe to Africa but also manages to be a fast and furiously twisted ride, with a stereotype protagonist like none other. Cutting, short I loved this book. 900 pages in 4 days flat tells the story.
Lastly, my guess is that Mr. Nesbo is a mentally sick man. No sane person can create murder scenes. One victim’s torture method really made me cringe and read those pages over and over again. Now had he been sane, and just left it at the victims being just murdered, had I been that blown out of my mind. No!! So thank you Mr. Nesbo, your descriptions were gory and grisly, and I enjoyed reading every bit of it.
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