When the great Swedish author Stieg Larsson died, he left a dual legacy in the world of crime/thriller fiction. First, he created a trilogy series—named the Millennium Saga—that featured the terrificThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and has been made into two great English language (and three Swedish) movies.
Secondly, the success of Larsson’s work firmly planted a spotlight on the Nordic region of Europe and has helped to create a sub-genre now known as the Nordic thriller. Several authors have emerged in Larsson’s wake to lead this field—Camilla Lackberg and Amaldur Indridason, to name two. The most impressive out of this group has to be Oslo, Norway, writer Jo Nesbo.
The Harry Hole series has become one of the most consistently excellent crime/thriller sagas in the business and never fails to deliver chills and thrills. Harry Hole was left for dead at the end of the previous novel, Phantom, and is nowhere to be seen when Police begins.
Without Harry, his squad put their heads together to try and catch a killer who seems to be targeting the police themselves. This killer has a twisted sense of justice and holds several members of the Oslo police squad accountable for failure to bring other killers to accounts. He feels certain members of this team do not deserve to be called POLITI.
Harry Hole eventually makes a grand appearance, but in the surprising role as former police investigator turned college instructor. It is with trepidation that his old squad reaches out to him for help, but the police victims continue to mount and they have no choice but to bring Harry on as a consultant.
At one point in the novel, a character makes the ironic statement “Anyone who doesn’t dare to stand up for justice should have a guilty conscience.” This quote sticks in Harry’s mind and becomes quite prophetic as his entire squad—including Harry himself—may be caught in the crosshairs of the killer.
Police grabs readers by the throat and never lets up. It is a terrific showcase for author Jo Nesbo and his gifts for plotting and the ability to keep the surprises rolling without allowing you to catch your breath.