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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Leopard - a review

Inspector Harry Hole is at it again, resigning that is. After the last traumatic episode his wife and stepson have left him and Hole finds his way to the opium dens of Hong Kong to wallow in self-pity and disappear from the real world.

He is dragged from the viper’s pit when two young women are found, brutally murdered with another unique method that Nesbo seems to relish in bringing to the unsuspecting public, along with a third suspected of the same murderer. Hole is Norway’s expert at catching serial killers. The news that Hole’s father is on his death-bed has more reason for him to return. He is done with police work, just ask him.

In a wild chase that leads us through the ski slopes and lakes of Norway to the outer regions of the Congo on Africa’s western plains Hole traces the suspect, now of several other bizarre murders as he tries to find the common link that brings all these hapless soles into the path of the killer.

When State run authorities impede his progress Hole strikes out alone, as usual, with all the skills of a modern-day Colombo, to unmask the culprit in his own style. Talking of style, for those of you that have had the pleasure of reading Nesbo’s other US published novels I started to complain to myself when I discovered a pattern in his work only to have that shattered in a matter of pages, almost like Nesbo set a trap. Don’t try and get into his or Hole’s head; he will shred you.

The Leopard is a work of pure genius, a skillfully woven mystery with enough action and gore to thrill the regular suspense lover in you. Nesbo has done it again; brilliant.

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