Book of the Month June:
Killing Moon by Jo Nesbø
It’s been a little while since we’ve had anything new from Nesbø – who’s still, often convincingly, called the king of crime writers – and thus we’ve not heard from one of the book world’s most compelling and memorable detectives. Yes, Harry Hole is back! And with a bang too (albeit a gloomy and self-destructive one).
If there’s anything at which Nesbø particularly excels, and there certainly is (several things, in fact) it is the serial killer thriller. The killers in previous books like The Snowman and The Leopard are among the most memorable crime fiction villains recently created, and with Killing Moon Nesbø introduces us to one of his more twisted, fearsome and despicable creations. It’s no mean feat to continually project yourself into the worst and most appalling minds that humanity is capable of conjuring and to spin entertaining, often gruesome, narratives from those perverse psyches, but this is what Nesbø consistently does. And to such an extent that anyone with a taste for the grittier, more visceral and cerebral branches of crime fiction remains captivated by his work and its particular, peculiar flavour. As always, Killing Moon works perfectly well as a standalone novel and does not require you to have read any of the other Harry Hole books. Hole is, after all, a character who can be met at any point in his journey without any chance of being forgotten.
In Oslo, two young women have gone missing and the police are left with very little to go on. Seemingly the only thing that connects the two is that they both attended the same party – a party hosted by a real-estate magnate with a certain reputation. But when the body of one of the women is found, police quickly come to suspect that they have come up against a sickeningly unusual killer. A killer whose disturbing and unique signature – a signature that conjures some truly profound horrors – seems to suggest that he is just getting started. Against such an unusual foe, an equally unique detective is required. But Harry Hole cannot be contacted.
Harry Hole, having been fired from the police force, is determinedly drowning himself in drink somewhere in Los Angeles. And he has no intention of returning to Oslo – a place that holds nothing for him but haunted darkness. Until, that is, the life of the woman to whom he owes an enormous emotional debt is terrifyingly endangered.
Hole will not be able to stop this killer alone. He’ll need a team of his own assembling – a strange and talented posse of misfits that includes an ex-drug dealer, a corrupt police officer and a psychologist. But not everyone is happy to have them involved.
Delving deeply into and dwelling darkly within an insidiously depraved mind and conjuring as much palpable darkness as Nesbø’s best, Killing Moon delivers some serious shocks along with its sinister thrills. It’s as unputdownable as it gets. It even has cannibalism and some properly weird parasite activity… don’t pretend you aren’t intrigued!