Friday, September 20, 2013


My search for an entertaining and diverting novel that would neither tax nor assault my intelligence finally led me to Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø. I can't remember on which blog or recommended reading list I found him, but the recommendation coincided with the availability of a couple of his books at my public library. Ding ding ding!

I read Nemesis, which, like most of the author's novels, features detective Harry Hole. He's an alcoholic and apparently a bit of a workaholic, but otherwise a fairly decent character. The plot had a few unexpected twists, although even with my limited exposure to the crime genre, I was suspicious early on of the character who turned out to be the one-who-done-it.

The website that recommended Mr. Nesbø's novels claimed the success of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy is responsible for Mr. Nesbø and other Scandinavian writers getting published in English. If so, that's a welcome side-effect from the girl with the dragon tattoo phenomenon; his writing is solid and worthy of a wider audience. Yet, Harry Hole, for all of his charms, is no Lisbeth Salander! She's probably one of the most unforgettable characters in modern literature, and I know I share with millions of readers a profound sense of tragedy that Mr. Larsson died before he could give us more of her.

Reading a Norwegian crime novel did put me in the mood for working more on that Scandinavian sweater, and I've knit a few more rows. Perhaps I will have it finished in time to wear it this season.