The Leopard

The Leopard

by Jo Nesbo

Overview: In this electrifying new addition to Jo Nesbø’s internationally acclaimed series, Harry Hole must confront the darkest demons in his city—and in himself. Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping the trauma of his last case in squalid opium dens, when two young women are found dead in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches a fever pitch. There are no clues, the police investigation is stalled, and Harry—the one man who might be able to help—can’t be found. After he returns to Oslo, the killer strikes again, Harry’s instincts take over, and nothing can keep him from the investigation, though there is little to go on. Worse, he will soon come to understand that he is dealing with a psychopath who will put him to the test, both professionally and personally, as never before.

Deanna Boe (09/14/17): I donated this series to the Akron Library a few years back, but hadn’t quite finished the series myself, so decided it was time while in Akron this past month. I selected this series as something different for readers who like murder mysteries. The author is from Norway and just that fact alone makes his writing style not the same as many of our mystery writers here in the US. Not only does he naturally use Norway for his background in his mysteries, but also other countries; for instance, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Congo for example. He also uses unusual murder weapons, which was particularly true in this novel.

Harry Hole is the Inspector for this series. At the beginning of this storyline we find Harry in Hong Kong, fighting his old nemesis – alcohol. He has fled Norway after solving the Snowman mystery where his fame had become too much for him. Harry does not want to return to Norway but the beautiful young lady who was sent to bring him back succeeds in doing just that. The murders were also intriguing. Why? If for no other reason the murder weapons that were used in the first two murders. A round ball that barely fits into an open mouth has a string of sorts dangling from it. They are warned to not pull on it, but after a period of time of suffering with this ball in their mouths, they pull the string and blades shoot out all over the ball and are thrust into their mouths, causing them to bleed to death. A third death was entirely different, but Harry determines they are connected. When the murders continue Harry knows he must fine the common denominator that somehow ties them all – but what? The victims are so entirely different in personality, work, and other aspects of their lives that it seems impossible they could be connected. Naturally, we know Harry will be successful and find this link.

I do like Mr. Nesbo’s writing. Unfortunately, he also can go on and on when the storyline could have easily been reduced by at least one-fourth of the writing. That doesn’t mean you can’t easily skim certain parts that seem to drag a little. So, if you like murder mysteries, give Harry Hole a try.
Rating: ****

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