Author: Jo Nesbo
I've been on a Jo Nesbo kick lately. When I discovered The Redbreast it was on a table at Costco next to a book called The Snowman, which has gained a lot of attention in the book world this spring and summer. So reading The Snowman has been high on my list. However, when I read The Redbreast (which appears to be the first of Nesbo's Harry Hole books translated into English-- there are a few early books that don't seem to have English translations), I realized that there were a handful of books written in between The Redbreast and The Snowman. I hate to read books out of order if I can avoid it, so that meant I had about 2000 pages of reading to do in order to get to the point where I could read The Snowman and know all of the backstory.
The good news is that Nemesis was enjoyable to read. While Harry Hole is pretty much your stereotypical murder detective who drinks too much, is always on the outs with his boss and can't keep a romantic relationship to save his life, I like him as a main character. I also think that this book, more than the others, develops Hole's character. In Nemesis, one of Hole's old girlfriends shows up and asks him to dinner. With Rakel (the current girlfriend) out of town, Harry agrees to meet her for dinner, and later that night he discovers that he has no memory of the evening. The next morning the woman turns up dead. Then other people turn up dead. Harry has to both solve the crime and divert attention from himself. With Rakel's custody battle and Harry's growing obsession to solve the murder of his former partner (killed in The Redbreast), it's no wonder he struggles with sobriety and personal issues. Nemesis is entertaining, but honestly, I read the book a couple of weeks ago and all of the stories have melded together in my mind, so while it was good, the story doesn't particularly stand out.