Excerpt from the end of Phantom-
The recoil made the barrel jump and the third bullet hit him in the head. He fell. Beneath him, darkness. And he plunged into it. Until it swallowed him up and swept him into a cooling, painless nothing. At last, he thought. And that was Harry Hole's final thought. That at long, long last he was free.
Anyone who doesn't dare to stand up for justice should have a guilty conscience.
Police is a riveting follow up to Phantom, the previous novel in the Harry Hole series and seamlessly picks up where Phantom ended. Nesbø's exceptionally developed characters, Beate Lønn, Katrine Bratt, Ståle Aune return in this multilayered, most creatively plotted detective mystery yet.
Corruption still exists as high up as City Hall and Chief of Police; crown witnesses are found dead before they can testify.
He was asleep in there, behind the door.
The guarded hospital room smelt of medicine and paint. The monitor beside him registered his heartbeats.
Isabelle Skøyen, the Councillor for Social Affairs at Oslo City Hall, and Mikael Bellman, the newly appointed Chief of Police, hoped they would never see him again.
That no one would see him again.
That he would sleep until eternity.
There's a new series of executions in Oslo, the killer seems to be duplicating unsolved murder cases; the victims - all police officers. There are no loose ends left behind, no tracks, no evidence- only vengeance.
As cops are violently murdered by a killer who perfects his executions with precise detail, yet remains elusive, Oslo's Crime Squad desperately misses their old star crime solver, Hole, his sharp intuitive skills and ability to "see" what's not there.
But, Harry Hole is no longer working for the Oslo Police.
Krimteknisk and Crime Squad must now team up to solve the murders of their own.
Beate Lønn and Katerine Bratt work so well as a team that I was distracted from even missing Hole during the first third of the book. Ståle Aune's expert mental analyses and insights into the machinations of the deranged criminal mind kept me intrigued, it was hard to put Police aside. Nesbø is a master at baiting and teasing the reader, building up smoke screens- blurring the truth, directing logic and controlling the reader's deductive reasoning.
The demented psychological plot lines are so well constructed that they could stand singularly without a doubt, but are ingenious, collectively and cohesively.
Nesbø, brilliant at crime-storytelling - informing the reader of cutting-edge forensic techniques and current psychological schools of thought; weaving in, for the appreciation of those who have read the Hole series, recognizable aspects of previous cases Harry had been involved in - takes a major risk in reinventing a character that had morphed over these last 10 novels into a global phenomenon.
Hole's re-creation might be the greatest move he has made, raising the bar for crime fiction series' altogether, and proves Nesbø is thinking out of the box. It's what keeps him on top of the leaderboard in crime fiction, and guarantees a faithful reader turn-out for the next Nesbø production.