torsdag den 24. september 2009

Jo Nesbø, Headhunterne (2008)


- mens vi venter på Harry Hole.

Hovedpersonen i Nesbøs enkeltstående krimi er Roger Brown, Norges bedste headhunter, og også en ganske dygtig kunsttyv. Hans velafprøvede koncept går ud på, at når han interviewer kandidater til sine topposter, fletter han nogle spørgsmål ind om, hvilken kunst de har på væggene. Det fungerer rigtig fint, indtil han møder en ny klient, hollænderen Clas Greve, som også er en mester indenfor sit felt.

Roger Brown som har alt, inklusiv en smuk, højtelsket hustru, men desværre også et stort overforbrug af penge, træffer nogle forkerte valg i sit forsøg på at redde økonomien og holde på hustruen, og selvfølgelig følger der en katastrofal nedtur.

Historien er for så vidt underholdende nok, men efter en række fremragende politikrimier med personligheden Harry Hole, virker Brown som lidt af en overfladisk letvægter. Der skal også trækkes et point fra for et par uoverbevisende detaljer: en ellers intelligent forbryder på flugt bruger sin mobil uden at tænke på, at den kan spores, og retsmedicineren står ikke ligefrem til forfremmelse.

Bogen kan på mange måder sammenlignes med Caroline Minuscule, Andrew Taylors debut fra 1982 om den charmerende svindler William Dougal, og de kommer begge indenfor kategorien ´hvem tager røven på hvem´.

Jo Nesbø, The Headhunters.
Norwegian art crime - while we are waiting for Harry Hole.

This stand-alone has not been translated into English yet. The main character Roger Brown, is Norway´s most successful headhunter, and also an efficient art thief. His concept is as follows: while interviewing the candidates for his top posts, he includes some questions about which paintings they have on their walls. Everything works very well until he meets a new client, the Dutchman Clas Greve, who is also an expert within his own field.

Roger Brown who has everything, including a beautiful, beloved wife, but unfortunately also a massive consumption of money, makes some wrong choices in his effort to keep his house and his wife. The down trip is inevitable.

The story is rather entertaining, but after a number of brilliant police procedurals with Harry Hole, Brown seems like a superficial lightweight. A point must also be deducted for a couple of unconvincing details: an otherwise brilliant criminal on the run uses his mobile phone without thinking of how easily it can be traced, and the forensic examiner is not exactly in for promotion.

In many ways the book may be compared to Caroline Minuscule, Andrew Taylor´s debut from 1982 with the charming conman William Dougal, and they both belong to the category ´who fools whom´.

12 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Thanks for the review. I agree with you that believable details are important. In a good mystery, the characters should act in believable ways, and the the details (such as evidence, cell phone use, etc.) should also be believable. Otherwise they detract from the story.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: it was difficult to review this novel, because his Harry Hole series is so wonderful, and this one is different in so many ways. It is not like Nesbø to be imprecise, really, but perhaps I was just looking for some reasons to criticize Roger Brown. Art crime with a criminal main character will probably never be my favourite - other readers may love it, though.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

I admire your ability, Dorte, to review a book so fairly when it's not "your kind of book." I know what you mean, too, about disliking the main character; I've read books like that, too. Even more reason to give you kudos for a fine review.

Dorte H sagde ...

Well, I have written reviews that are less than kind, but I hope I have never been scathing. And Nesbø is a writer I admire immensely for his famous series so I am quite ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Petty Witter sagde ...

Thanks for that review Dorte. I do hope it is translated into English. Love them or hate them, I do like it when there's that bit of a raw edge to the main character in a book.

Dorte H sagde ...

Petty Witter: you are welcome. It has not been translsated yet, but I think it will. It is not at all a hate-book either, the only thing is that his Harry Hole series (of which five have been translated) is better.

Louise sagde ...

I've never gotten around to read any of Nesbø's books. Maybe I will just stick to other series, which I know that I like :-)

Anita sagde ...

Jeg leser mye krim, og har nettopp begynt å lese Nesbø sin nyeste Harry Hole-bok, "Panserhjerte" som den heter på norsk. Synes den er like god somde andre... Flott blogg du har, forresten!

Dorte H sagde ...

Louise: the Harry Hole series is brilliant, this is just not one of those.

Dorte H sagde ...

Hej Anita.

Dejligt du kan lide min blog.
Jeg glæder mig rigtig meget til mere Harry Hole!

Anita sagde ...

Da har jeg lest ferdig "Panserhjerte", Dorte, les i min blogg hva jeg synes om den!

Dorte H sagde ...

Tak, Anita.