The Redbreast

Publisher: Vintage Books
1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.

1999: Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

The Redbreast won the Glass Key prize for the best Nordic crime novel when it was first published, and was subsequently voted Norway’s best crime novel. The Devil’s Star, Nesbø’s first novel featuring Harry Hole to be translated into English, marked Nesbø as a writer to watch in the ever more fashionable world of Nordic crime.



Toll Barrier at Alnabru.
1 November 1999.

A grey bird glided in and out of Harry’s field of vision. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. Slow time. Somebody had been talking about ‘slow time’ on TV yesterday. This was slow time. Like on Christmas Eve before Father...
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“Nobody can delve into the dark, twisted mind of a murderer better than a Scandinavian thriller writer.”

“I place Nesbø high up on the Scandinavian mystery league.”
–Marcel Berlins, The Times

“Exciting, witty, melancholy and thought-provoking, and he is well-served by his elegant translator, Don Bartlett, whom I bet many foreign crime novelists would kill to get hold of.”
Daily Telegraph

"A page-turner you won't want to put down."
— Time Out

"Scary... culminates in a nail-biting episode with overtones of The Day of the Jackal."
— Independent