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Book Review: Jo Nesbo's Killing Moon

You know what's more difficult than writing a crime novel? It's reviewing the one without spoiling the plot for the potential readers. It's even more complicated when it's that cool Norwegian bestselling author Jo Nesbo who just landed his new gripping English version in Harry Hole series. Killing Moon is the thirteenth book in the series, long awaited after Knife published in 2019.

For a moment it seemed that Jo Nesbo was done with Harry Hole after Knife finale where we've ended with Harry leaving Oslo for some other place on earth, presumably for good in all possible meanings. With Rakel's murder and the outcomes that followed in Knife, Harry was determined to drink himself to death, full stop. But such imperfect though brilliant detectives like Harry Hole cannot disappear for long because there's a loyal audience worldwide who won't accept this metaphorical execution of their hero. And it's crystal clear to Jo Nesbo, too.

Hence Killing Moon and Harry Hole sinking in booze somewhere in LA. But there's also a cute old lady reminding Harry of his late mother who has naively fallen into grand debts with Mexican mafia and who naturally has entangled Harry into a very dangerous no-way-out. Meanwhile Oslo police finally finds one of the missing young women dead and scalped in the woods. A local tycoon is afraid he'll be involved in the investigation because these girls attended his last party, and is determined to find the killer before the police does. So Harry receives a call from his lawyer with an offer which turns out to be the last straw Harry could grab to save his and old lady's lives.

This is about everything I can reveal without flushing your pleasure of reading down the drain. As usual, Jo Nesbo engages you from the first page and you don't want to be interrupted, picking up the hints on the way and guessing whodunnit till the very end. This is the best part of reading Jo Nesbo - a fluent story-telling with a perfectly balanced narrative-dialogue ratio. Plus the inventive non-conventional ways to carry out the murder. This time it is something between exclusively abominable and totally genius.

But. Yes, by becoming an expert of Jo Nesbo writing style (I've read all his novels, including standalones), you develop an ability to grasp the patterns, which enable to recognize the killer rather too early and prevent plot twists to turn in awe and surprise. Perhaps this exhaustive experience, or perhaps my own smart mind (or both) influenced the fact that I've identified the one doing the murders right from the start and was praying till the very end to be wrong because otherwise it was too obvious, if you'd play by the standard plot development rules. And if you can forgive this for some debut writer, you get extremely annoyed when it's a very master Jo Nesbo.

Anyway, find it for yourselves. In any case Harry Hole remains one of the most loved fictional detectives with all his flaws and vices. I just don't understand why there's still no TV crime series adapted (except adaptation of The Snowman into a full motion picture), unlike by other Scandinavian crime authors. I'd watch them even knowing the end, just to see Harry Hole in flesh.

By the way, talking about the endings. Killing Moon is definitely not the last novel in the Harry Hole series, as it ends with a cliff hanger and probably with the beginning of the next Harry's case, which will undoubtfully be as vicious and merciless, as only Jo Nesbo can write it to be.


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