Maybe you’ve been a loyal Jo Nesbø fan since his first book, The Bat, came out in 1997 (kudos on knowing Norwegian). Maybe you picked up The Redbreast when our whodunit columnist introduced us to police detective Harry Hole. Maybe you checked out Nemesis when it was nominated for the Edgar Award.
Or maybe you don’t read him at all—though, chances are, you’ll come around eventually.
Jo Nesbø and his Harry Hole thrillers have been climbing bestseller lists across the globe for quite some time, and this month, the Top Pick in Mystery is his newest, Phantom.
But before reading on, know this:
- “Jo” is pronounced “Yoo”—but he’s OK with being “Joe.”
- “Hole” (of Harry Hole) is pronounced “HEU-leh.”
- Nesbø’s a former amateur footballer and Norwegian pop star.
Nothing is as you’d expect it when it comes to Jo Nesbø . . . and the same goes for Phantom. Writes whodunit columnist Bruce Tierney:
“[Harry Hole] is back in Oslo after a three-year absence, only to discover that everything is new—and yet everything is somehow disturbingly the same. . . . He is still persona non grata with most of his former police associates. His one-time lover Rakel is an unknown quantity, and her son Oleg seems to have changed markedly for the worse, a casualty of “violin,” the powerful new synthetic opiate that has taken Norway’s youth by storm. . . . Easily the most troubling and heartfelt of this excellent series, Phantom is one of the finest suspense novels to come out of Scandinavia to date.”
Check out our 7 questions interview with Nesbø, who shared some cool writing advice:
“Be the psychopath. You have to be able to identify with a character, similar to how an actor works. It might be scary sometimes, but that’s what you have to do. Humans are complex; you’ll be able to find most things within yourself. Just use your imagination.”
What was your first book by Nesbø? How big of a fan are you?