Review: Police, by Jo Nesbø


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Harvill Secker, 2013. Hardback. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett. First published with the title Politi in 2013. ISBN: 978-1-846-55596-1. 522 pages.

The action, in Police, unfolds immediately after the events narrated in Phantom, the previous instalment (you can see my review HERE). As a matter of fact, in an interview at Crime Fiction Lover, Jo Nesbø himself tells us: ‘Actually, I wrote Phantom and Police more or less as one book, in one long stretch, so I had already planned Police before I’d finished Phantom’. It goes without saying that, any potential reader, should start reading first Phantom if she/he has not already done so.

Anyway Police’s plot is difficult to summarize without giving away too much. Suffice is to say that when a former police agent is murdered at the crime scene of an old case in whose investigation he was involved, it can hardly be a coincidence. But when two other agents are also killed under similar circumstances, there is already a clear pattern. Regarding the original crimes, it’s assumed they were sexually motivated, but neither one has been solved yet. With respect to the policemen’s murders there are no clues, no suspects, and no motives. ‘The best that could be said about this case was that it had brought the two big murder investigation units in Norway –Crime Squad and Krypos- closer together’.

To make matters worse the police can’t count with their best investigator. Meanwhile, a severely wounded man is in coma at a hospital in Oslo. His identity is kept secret and the door to his room is being guarded by the police. Within the police force itself there are different opinions on how to address the case. Gunnar Hagen, head of Crime Squad, suggests dividing the investigation unit into several smaller ones, while Mikael Bellman, the new Chief of Police, believes one big and well-coordinated group is always best. Without Bellman’s knowledge, Hagen sets up a small unit, with Katrine Bratt, Beate Lønn, Bjorn and Stale Aune. But, where is Harry Hole?

Police has several plot lines that become intertwined with each other. Even if each story has many and very varied characters, the main plot is easy to follow. Each scene usually ends at a crucial moment and, thus, it is difficult to put it down. This is just a technique, but extremely well done and helps to increase the tension. The reader’s attention is also kept with some unexpected twists and turns. And, finally, some loose ends and its open ending anticipate that we can expect it will continue. I can only finish quoting Karen at Euro Crime when she writes: ‘After the grimness of Phantom and the extreme violence of The Leopard, Police is more akin to the earlier novels in the series, emotionally similar to The Redbreast, and as always, I can’t wait for the next one.’ In a nutshell, a wonderful thriller. Simply superb.

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book).

Police has been reviewed at Crime Scraps Review (Norman), Crimepieces (Sarah), Euro Crime (Karen), Seeing the world through books (Mary Whipple), Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog (Keishon), Crime Fiction Lover, Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie), Reviewingtheevidence (Barbara),

Harvill & Secker

Knopf Doubleday

The Random House Group

Salomonsson Agency

Jo Nesbo Official Website US

Jo Nesbo Official UK Site 

Police, de Jo Nesbø

La acción en Police se desarrolla inmediatamente después de los acontecimientos narrados en Phantom, la entrega anterior (mi reseña está disponible AQUÍ). De hecho, en una entrevista en Crime Fiction Lover, el propio Jo Nesbø nos dice: “En realidad, escribí Phantom y Police, más o menos como un solo libro, en un largo período, por lo que ya habia planificado Police antes de haber acabado de escribir Phantom”. No es necesario decir que, cualquier lector potencial, debería comenzar leyendo primero Phantom si no lo ha hecho ya.

De todos modos la trama de Police es difícil de resumir sin desvelar demasiado. Baste decir que cuando un ex agente de policía es asesinado en la escena del crimen de un antiguo caso en cuya investigación se vio involucrado, difícilmente puede ser una coincidencia. Pero cuando otros dos agentes también son asesinados en circunstancias similares, ya existe un patrón claro. En cuanto a los crímenes iniciales, se supone que fueron por motivos sexuales, pero ninguno ha sido resuelto todavía. Con respecto a los asesinatos de los policías no hay pistas, no hay sospechosos, y no existen motivos. “Lo mejor que se podría decir de este caso es que había conseguido aunar los esfuerzos de las dos principales unidades noruegas dedicadas a la investigación criminal, Crime Squad y Krypos”.

Por si fuera poco la policía no puede contar con su mejor investigador. Mientras tanto, un hombre gravemente herido se encuentra en estado de coma en un hospital de Oslo. Su identidad se mantiene en secreto y la puerta de su habitación está siendo custodiada por la policía. Dentro de la propia fuerza policíal existen diferentes opiniones sobre cómo abordar el caso. Gunnar Hagen, el director de la Brigada Criminal, sugiere dividir la unidad de investigación en varias más pequeñas, mientras que Mikael Bellman, el nuevo Jefe Superior de la Policía, cree que un grupo grande y bien coordinado es siempre mejor. Sin el conocimiento de Bellman, Hagen forma una unidad pequeña, con Katrine Bratt, Beate Lønn, Bjorn y Stale Aune. Pero ¿dónde se encuentra Harry Hole?

Police tiene varias líneas argumentales que se entrelazan entre sí. Incluso si cada historia tiene muchos y muy variados personajes, la trama principal es fácil de seguir. Cada escena por lo general termina en un momento crucial y, por tanto, es difícil dejarlo. Se trata sólo de una técnica, pero está muy bien ejecutada y ayuda a aumentar la tensión. La atención del lector se mantiene también gracias a algunos giros inesperados. Por último, algunos cabos sueltos y su final abierto anticipan que podemos esperar que continuará. Sólo puedo terminar citando a Karen en Euro Crime cuando escribe: “Después del extremadamente lúgubre Phantom y la extrema violencia de The Leopard, Police recuerda más a las novelas anteriores de la serie, similar emocionalmente a Petirrojo, y como siempre, no puedo esperar a la próxima entrega.” En pocas palabras, un magnífico thriller. Sencillamente soberbio.  

Mi valoración: A+ (No se lo piense más y consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

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10 thoughts on “Review: Police, by Jo Nesbø

  1. Jose, nice review…it will go onto the list, but I’m going to have to wait on Cockroaches and then all the preceding books first, I’m afraid.

    1. Thanks Col! FYI I have not read yet The Bat Man and The Cockroaches, but have read the rest of the series starting with The Redbreast. I love the series but don’t know why I’m not in a hurry to read his first two books.

      1. Thank you Bill, I have still to read the first two books in the series, but can’t explain why I’m not in a hurry to do so. Anyway take it you have still to read all the books in the series and you are in for a treat.

  2. Jose Ignacio: While tempted I have not read the review beyond noting how much you enjoyed the book. I was given Bat and Cockroaches by my older son’s girlfriend as Christmas gifts when we came to Calgary this week. I have begun reading Bat and it is off to a good start.

    1. Thank you Bill, I have still to read the first two books in the series, but can’t explain why I’m not in a hurry to do so. Anyway take it you have still to read all the books in the series and you are in for a treat.

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