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The Redeemer: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 4) - Jo Nesbo 4.5 Stars Rounded up to Five

Harry Roolaart, my Goodreads friend Harry, said Jo Nesbo is a must read for me and he was right. However, I didn't enjoy Harry Hole (pronounced, per Harry R. as Hoo-leh) near as much as "our Harry." But then, I'm not sure anyone loves and enjoys Nesbo's writing and his character Harry Hole, as much as "our Harry." (Harry Roolaart is from the Netherlands and he IS cosmopolitan. I'm not. I'm southern.)

Yes, Harry, yes, I enjoyed this book and enjoyed it a lot. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it more than the first one I read, The Redbreast.

With that said, "our Harry" wrote an excellent review and I agreed with all he said excepting these few sentences:

But perhaps the most compelling reason why Harry Hole has such a following is Nesbo's devastating characterization of what exactly comprises a flawed hero. Upon reflection, American hard-boiled writers don't come close to accomplishing the same. This is not too dissimilar to the way Nesbo sees himself. (My boldface.)

Many American readers may disagree with that comment. I do. The first "flawed hero" who comes to my mind is Dave Robicheaux although as readers, we know he is married and less a loner than Harry Hole; another comes to mind, Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch.

I'm sure others have their own suggested "flawed heroes" who were created by American authors and may disagree with Harry's statement.

Other than that, please take a look at Harry's review...it's thoughtful and articulate and you can read the admiration Harry has for Jo Nesbo and his character, Harry Hole. Harry's review of The Redeemer is here.

My one complaint, and it's purely my personal problem, is the Norwegian names. They drive me crazy and yes, I know they can't be Tom, Dick and (oops, sorry, Harry) Harry. But from the names in Nesbo's books, I can't tell if the person introduced is a man or woman. So I'm reading along, and in my mind it's "he this" and "he that" then, come to find out, it's a woman! Crap...have to go back and re-read it with a a woman in mind.

Take a look at these names and see if YOU can absolutely, positively tell if they are a man or a woman. And no, I don't have the answer.

(I'm not by myself either on this. Reading some reviews of The Redbreast some time ago, a fellow was complaining about the names as well and asked "what's with those tiny zeros above some letters? And the slash through the "o's"...what's with that?" Poor guy has a point...what's with that? Damned if I know.)

Here we go....Jørgen Juve (George Juvie?); Ole Solskjær (Helloooo and one strange letter(s) of the alphabet combining a&e? huh?); Tore André Flo (feminine last name, I think); Stine Bredal Oftedal (what?); Pål Grotnes (Pal with tiny "o's" above the "a" and last name Grotnies?); Jan Åge Fjørtoft (sounds feminine to me); Odd Iversen (sounds odd to me); Marit Malm Frafjord (a woman?); Olav Nilsen (clueless); Ase Birkrem (how to pronounce that, ass?); Øyvind Leonhardsen (huh?)...get my drift?

No. Up front, no, I am not cosmopolitan needless to say. But I'm trying. Never mind, I've given up already. I speak southern. But will read another Nesbo. Strange names and all...it was a fantastic book.

Thanks, Ed...thanks, Harry.