As a serial killer terrorizes Oslo, Inspector Harry Hole (Nemesis, 2009, etc.) is battling even more fearsome demons.
When copywriter Camilla Loen is shot to death, her index finger removed and a star-shaped red diamond tucked beneath her eyelid, Chief Inspector Bjarne Møller has the bright idea of pairing his heir-apparent, Inspector Tom Waaler, with barely functional alcoholic Harry, who’s spent most of the previous month on unofficial leave drowning his grief over his late colleague, Officer Ellen Gjeltsen. But Harry doesn’t just dislike and distrust Waaler; he’s convinced that Waaler is Prince, the mob’s inside man who murdered Ellen. So the salt-and-pepper rapport between Harry and Waaler is more like arsenic-and-cyanide. Even pulling Harry off the case so that he can investigate the disappearance of producer Wilhelm Barli’s wife turns sour because a parcel containing her severed middle finger swiftly makes it clear that singer/actress Lisbeth Barli has become another victim of the Courier Killer. The exhaustingly wide-ranging case poses three crucial questions. What pattern underlies the Courier Killer’s choice of victims and modus operandi? When the police arrest an innocent suspect, can Harry protect him long enough to get the goods on the real killer? And how can he possibly neutralize the hydra-headed Waaler, who grows more dangerous the more he’s thwarted?
Not all the answers are equally interesting, but even readers new to this white-hot series will be impressed by Nesbø’s generous plotting and his insight into dark places in the human soul.