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Posted: January 19, 2020

I enjoyed this Nesbo novel

Book Review

By Derryll White

Nesbo, Jo (2019).  Knife.

Jo Nesbo is an accomplished writer with a well-developed sense of craft. He pulled me into his story with the first paragraph, inviting me to consider the flow of time and what I have left of my allotted years.

Harry Hole, a Detective Inspector with the Oslo police murder squad, is out of bounds here as he is in most of Jo Nesbo’s stories. With his virtually unlimited imagination and unrelenting drive, Hole takes the reader on an exciting journey through pop music history, Norwegian culture and the psychology of murderers.

This is a very personal journey for Harry Hole. Rakel Faulke, wife and major stabilizing influence in Harry Hole’s life has been murdered. A driven Hole has been suspended from the police force, and in his almost psychotic state he has little belief that the police will uncover and persecute the murderer.

Jo Nesbo entices the reader to act for himself, to take things beyond the bureaucracy and mundanity of life today. His call to action invites the reader to light an internal fire and quest after the puzzles that one normally shrugs off as unsolvable. I enjoyed this Nesbo novel.

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Excerpts from the book:

PSYCHOLOGY – Psychology and religion have one thing in common: to as large extent, they both give people what they want.  Out there in the darkness, where the light of science has yet to reach, psychology and religion have free reign.  And if they were to stick to what we actually know, there wouldn’t be jobs for all these psychologists and priests.

HAPPINESS – Harry had been happy.  But happiness is like heroin; once you’ve tasted it, once you’ve found out that happiness exists, you will never be entirely happy with an ordinary life without happiness again.  Because happiness is something more than mere satisfaction.  Happiness isn’t natural.  Happiness is a trembling, exceptional state; seconds, minutes, days that you know simply can’t last.  And sorrow at its absence doesn’t come afterwards, but at the same time.  Because with happiness comes the terrible insight that nothing can be the same again, that you are already missing what you have, you’re worrying about the withdrawal pains, grief at the loss, cursing the awareness of what you are capable of feeling.

LOVE – “It’s lonely,” he said.  “Before I met you I was alone a lot, but I was never lonely.  Loneliness is new, loneliness is… interesting.  You weren’t filling any sort of vacuum when we  vcxfdgot together, but you left a huge, gaping hole when you went.  There’s probably an argument that love is a process of loss.”

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at www.basininstitute.org.


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