The Thirst: Jo Nesbo

The problem with writing books in as good a series as Nesbo’s Harry Hole story line is that sooner or later, like a first love, the bloom comes off the rose. After being wowed by an entry in the series, you somehow feel “cheated” when a next book is only “very good.”

The Thirst, while introducing a couple of new, intriguing characters (Hello Anders Wyller!) has too many clunky red herring littered throughout, creating a “fishy” plot line.

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Woman With Birthmark: Hakan Nesser

The Scandinavian Noir police genre is really strong these days. Stieg Larrson, Jo Nesbo, Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason, Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum: there seems no end of extremely talented novelists. Unfortunately, Hakan Nesser doesn’t belong on that list. His offering is as bland and meh and ineffectual as the police investigation at the core of this book. Give it a pass.