Written by Jo Nesbø
Number 11 in Harry Hole
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Original Language: Norwegian
Read from 2021-03-29 to 2021-04-24
Read in Norwegian
Review: Tørst is another one of the Harry Hole books that feels a bit more normal than the typical Hole book tends to feel. Rather than having about 32 different plot lines on different timelines intersecting with each other, it’s a much more straightforward story, and feels stylistically old-fashioned in the best possible way.
As usual Harry Hole, who is now a lecturer rather than a police officer, gets pulled into an investigation, and, as usual, the investigation turns personal. As usual there is some threat to those who he loves, and, as usual, Harry has to resort to some unconventional (i.e. illegal) methods to find out what happened.
Even though this book is constructed of well-known tropes, and even though many of the elements of the story strum the same strings as have been used so many times before, in these and in other books, Tørst makes excellent use of all of them, and ends up coming together as a very solid crime/mystery. The story moves along exactly at the pace it needs to keep itself going, but more than casually enough that it’s easy to keep up, and there is always something ambiguous or unknown that keeps things interesting. The personal-and-emotional-struggles part of the story tie in very nicely with the main plot, and everything feels relevant to what’s going on.
On a personal note, this is one of relatively few books where the resolution of the mystery took me completely by surprise, and where I, in hindsight, was given enough information that I could have figured it out before the reveal. Perhaps I was blindsighted by the comparative simplicity of the book relative to the other Hole books, and it probably didn’t help that I’ve been pretty exhausted every time I’ve read another chunk of it. Nevertheless, the ending of this book is one of the most satisfying conclusions to a crime-mystery I have read for quite a while.
Tørst is exactly the book I needed right now, and serves up a lot of enjoyment without requiring much effort. It’s simple, but very satisfying. It is not remarkable, and probably not a book I would expect people to love, but it’s a safe, solid book that I would expect many people to like very much.