Jo Nesbo's POLICE
A superb Scandinavian suspense novel
The Scandinavian suspense novels aren’t popular with every reader. In direct opposition to the ever-popular Patterson reads which feature short chapters and to-the-point dialogue and prose, they are loaded with rich description of locale and setting, and sprinkled with dozens of characters whose names tend to be confusing to the American reader. One of Jo Nesbo’s chapters would equal about ten of Patterson’s!
Having recently read Nesbo’s disappointing, The Bat, I was excited to find with Police, Jo Nesbo’s writing once again captivated me with its intensity and rich characterization. Amazingly, Harry Hole himself, Nesbo’s series’ protagonist, does not appear in the story until nearly halfway through the book. The other characters fill the gap perfectly while the plot leads up to his entrance.
Bodies of police officers have begun turning up at former crime scenes. In order to solve the puzzling case, a retired psychologist is brought back to join the task force, along with our hero, Harry Hole.
Definitely Nesbo at his best in this one! A highly recommended (by me) suspense read.
Things new suspense writers can learn from Nesbo’s writing:
1. There is an audience for all types of writing. While some readers dislike books with too many characters, writers like Nesbo prove these naysayers don’t represent all readers.
2. If you’re a series writer, tread carefully with things that are risky! Only a seasoned writer with an established following can get away with omitting his main character until the middle of the book.
3. A successful series is built around one or more characters that readers form a bond with. Harry Hole manifests both the bad and the brilliant in his crime solving. Keep your characters multi-faceted.
Like all of you, I’m feeling rather overwhelmed with trying to get all my holiday chores accomplished and still work on my writing. It’s difficult to relax and let myself feel it’s okay to take a break from writing. I always find time to read though; for me, reading is the most relaxing thing of all!
Take a break and pick up a book. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn by reading others’ works. And remember, books make the best gifts!
Have a wonderful Christmas season,