In Association with

Fresh Blood

Name: Jo Nesbo

Title of Book: Devil’s Star

‘…definitely a substantial story and I look forward to more from the same author.’


This story is set in Oslo and features Harry Hole, a detective with a drinking problem, who is on notice to leave the Force. Harry has an impressive record of solving crimes but also a serious reputation for drinking, made worse by the memories of recent killings close to home. During the hot summer a young woman is found murdered in her flat with a five-pointed red diamond behind her eyelid. Further killings with references to this five-pointed star indicate that there might be a serial killer on the loose.

Harry is assigned to this case along with Inspector Tom Waaler, considered by many to be the blue-eyed boy of the Force. However, Harry has a longstanding dislike and distrust of Waaler and he is reluctant to take part in the investigation. He has little alternative however but to do so and he drags himself away from the alcohol to dedicate himself to solving the case, despite many difficulties put in his way.

Stian Andersen as photographer


As always, I enjoy stories set in unusual locations and this one has a flavour of Oslo in the summer that I found enjoyable. Harry is suffering from hurtful memories and at the beginning is infuriating as he succumbs to his drink problem, ruining both his career and personal life. However my sympathies are with him as he fights through and I admire the way in which several strands of the story interlink. The final solution was a surprise but satisfyingly correct. I was left really caring whether Harry stayed in investigation or went to pursue a different career. This is definitely a substantial story and I look forward to more by the same author.

Reviewed by: S.D.

CrimeSquad Rating

Fresh Blood Questionnaire

1) What type of crime writing would you say you write?

Hardboiled Scandinavian crime based on the character Harry Hole

2) What type of crime novel do you prefer? Series or standalone?


3) Have you always had ideas to write a crime novel?

Oh yes.

4) What influenced you to write a crime novel in the first place?

Mainly movies. The Godfather movies, The Conversation, The Usual Suspects. And graphic novels by authors like Frank Miller and Alan Moore. And some writers of crime and great prose like Jim Thompson.

5) What is your favourite crime read of all time?

“The Killer Inside Me”, Jim Thompson and the Sin City series by Frank Miller.

6) Would you describe yourself as a Crime fan and if so, which authors do you most admire?

Not particularly. Most novels I read are not crime. But then again I really appreciate the writers mentioned above.

7) What is your favourite movie adaptation of a crime novel?

Godfather. Well, of course. Of recent years: Mystic River

8) Without giving away the ending, which book included your favourite plot twist of all time?

The Usual Suspects. Yes, I know it’s a movie.

9) This is the first of the Detective Inspector Harry Hole series to be translated in to English. What are we to expect from Harry Hole in the upcoming novels?

Well, he is a dark character and his near future looks bleak. After that it looks even darker. But then it’ll all go straight to hell.

10) You are classed as Norway’s most successful crime writer. How does it feel to be entering the British market with your first translated novel?

It’s very exciting.

11) Where do you see crime fiction going next?

In Scandinavia crime fiction has become maybe the most important arena in literature for expressing views on society, politics, moral and describing the grey colours in ethical dilemmas.

12) Please could you send a welcome message to and its readers!

If it’s a welcome to read my Harry Hole novels you’re suggesting, my advice is don’t go there. You’ll only end up an addicted fan of a man with a bad temper, bad drinking habits, hardly any ethical standards and a disastrous love life. Familiar stuff in crime fiction, only in Harry’s life it’s more of this stuff than you’ve ever seen before. So – as I said – it’s best avoided. Unless you like sleepless nights and the almost unbearable wait for the translation of the next Harry Hole-novel, of course…!

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