Cover Image: Killing Moon

Killing Moon

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Member Reviews

There is no better writer than Jo Nesbo, and his Harry Hole series is one of the best. The prose is beautiful and dark, and his writing locks you in from page one all the way until the last page. Loved this book.
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This was a surprisingly good read. I wasn't sure if I would like it, not having read the backlist of the series, but I did! Thank you for the opportunity
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for gifting me a digital ARC of the latest Harry Hole novel by Jo Nesbo - of course it's a 5 star read!

Harry Hole needs cash - a lot of cash - to try and save an elderly actress he met in LA that reminds him of his mother.  So he's made a deal and is back in Oslo to help solve the murder of two young women.  Harry is trying to prove that his client did not commit the murders, but it doesn't help when the client's wife is murdered as well.  

As his typical with Nesbo's novels, this is a complex, graphic, twisty story but I love Harry Hole and getting lost in his latest world.  This one finds him a mess but trying to curb his alcoholism yet again.  And I loved the relationship with Harry and Gert - hoping for more of that in future books.  Nesbo provides plenty of back story if you haven't read the other books, but this is such a good series to read, so I'd definitely encourage you to do that!  Meanwhile, I'll be anxiously awaiting the next one.
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Harry Hole is deep in misery but finds his way out solving a mystery!  The author does a fabulous job of leading you down an engaging step by step story that is well worked out.  I believe this is the 13th installment but the allure doesn’t fade!
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I was already such a huge fan of the Harry Hole series before reading Killing Moon but I was so thrilled to find Harry back on top form in this latest novel. The story has that perfect blend of a complex and intriguing case and the bleak feel you get from all of the best Nordic Noir thrillers. Harry has left L.A. to return to Oslo where he has been recruited privately to investigate the murder of two women. The catch is that his employer is the main suspect for the murders. Despite battling his own demons, Harry puts together a team and throws himself into the investigation. He might be struggling but his dark sense of humor shines through and this, together with a very unusual scientific element to the case, made this a really memorable addition to the series. A very easy five stars!
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Harry Hole, the archetype of the troubled Nordic detective, is chasing a deviously clever serial killer, albeit from outside of the police force, in Killing Moon – the thirteenth thriller in the much-loved series by Jo Nesbo.

Legendary detective Harry Hole’s plan of drinking himself to death in faraway Los Angeles gets interrupted when an old lady he has come to care about needs his help to stay alive. Meanwhile, the corpse of a beautiful young woman – one of the two that went missing recently – turns up bearing the marks of a serial killer in Oslo, and the absence of Harry means a meagre chance of the killer getting caught. The only suspect the police have – a filthy-rich magnate known for his philandering ways who had hosted the party both women had attended before they disappeared – protests his innocence vehemently and wants to commission his own parallel investigation by a renowned detective. The only person fitting the ‘renowned detective’ tag is Harry, who refuses the job straightaway but is forced to relent when the nasty people to whom Harry’s friend – the old lady – owes an astronomical sum set a ten-day deadline for repayment, the non-adherence to which would mean an agonising death.

Thus, Harry comes home to Oslo – and to the demons he is desperate to be rid of – with less than ten days to catch a serial killer, assembles a ragtag team comprising a drug-peddling taxi driver, a suspended cop, and a psychologist on his deathbed, and gets to work. While his old colleagues welcome Harry’s involvement, the bosses detest the intrusion and are eager for an excuse to ban and punish him. With the investigation going nowhere, the second body also is found with similar signs of assault, and the scant clues point – contrary to his intuition – towards Harry’s own client. Soon, the killer strikes again, and Harry’s failure to catch him before the looming deadline would mean – in addition to any number of the killer’s future victims – the torturous death of an old woman and that of his own at the hands of a sadistic hitman.

Harry Hole – one of the most admired lead characters in crime fiction for a long time now – is as riveting in his latest outing as ever. With nothing left to live for, he tries to drown himself in alcohol but pauses his suicidal drinking to do a good deed, which brings him back to the last place on earth that he wants to be in. His seesawing battle with the bottle as he forces himself to stay sober and sharp until he succeeds in his purpose is poignant. The remaining characters, irrespective of the size of their roles, are painstakingly etched and demand the reader’s attention – especially Katrine Bratt of Oslo Police, Alexandra Sturza of the Forensic Institute, and the dapper Sung-Min Larsen of Kripos. Harry’s motley troop – again expertly rendered by the master – provides several much-needed light moments with its banter while contributing immensely to the exhilarating pursuit. The killer, perhaps the most viciously cunning and deranged of all the Nesbo’s psychos that I have seen, is nightmarish. The plot moves at a perfect, simmering pace, with plenty of revelations and red herrings – and a vital dose of scary science – that make the book impossible to put down despite its above-average volume. True to his reputation, Nesbo provides graphic descriptions of the killer’s brutality that may be distressing for the weak-hearted reader. For everybody else though, Killing Moon reaffirms Jo Nesbo’s reputation as one of the greatest crime thriller authors in the world today!

Sean Kinsella’s top-notch translation makes Killing Moon an effortless read, and I wish to take a moment to thank the entire community of translators, without whose contribution the literature space – particularly the crime thriller genre – would be much poorer.

I am sincerely grateful to the fine people at Knopf Publishers / Penguin Random House and Mystery and Suspense Magazine for the Digital Review Copy of Killing Moon through NetGalley!
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Harry Hole is back!  This latest book in the series has Harry drunk again after the death of his wife. When a serial killer strikes, Harry goes on the hunt once again. Twists and turns abound in the novel, so watch out!
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Harry Hole is back still as ascerbic, unhappy and alcohol soaked as in the past.  He is no longer with the police in Oslo but works as a private investigator.  He is hired by the police to look into the murder of two young girls who both attended the same party as the home of a billionaire who is a very creepy suspect. There are quite a few twists and red herrings here to keep things interesting too. On the flip side, the book is much too long and the ending was particularly drawn-out. However, I highly recommend this book as I do all the Harry Hole novels.  Hopefully, one of these books will bring him out of his melancholic state.
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There's something about Harry. The sad, hardened, alcoholic detective is a compelling character, although that's  become almost a cliche.  I always enjoy watching his brain work while solving crimes.  This is a good installment, not a great one.  I found the plot somewhat unbelievable with overly gross detail, and one too many characters had me crossing my eyes.  If your head isn't spinning at the end, then you fared better than I did.  Recommended for die-hard Harry Hole fans.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC.
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I found this detective series years ago. I listened to the whole series while I was working in an office. Jo Nesbo really pulls you in. Harry is such a flawed, but interesting character. It was fun being back in this world with the newest release. If you are a fan of this series I highly recommend picking this one up.

Thank you to NetGalley, and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
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Jo Nesbo has done it again in the 13th installment of the Harry Hole series. With the last one, Nesbo absolutely gutted me and I couldn’t help but think: where is he going to go from here? But he did it - he brought another crazy intense mystery that is so improbable you can’t help but think ok, this has to be real because how can you come up with this stuff? But where Nesbo truly shines is with his characters, how they develop, how he brings them together and ultimately, how he makes the reader feel about them. I am so thoroughly invested in EVERYONE from this series!

Lastly, Nesbo is also the master of making you think you’ve solved the mystery and then 20 pages before the end, turning everything upside down. That happened to me TWICE in this book. Incredible.
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What do two missing women have in common? Harry Hole finds himself in a race against time in his 13th outing—not just against a cunning and cruel killer but to also save a new friend—while continuing to face his demons.

This was my first Nesbø that I finished and I thoroughly enjoyed it (despite not knowing what happens in the previous ones!). I will be revisiting the series, though.

You do not need to read the prior books to read this one but it may ruin series plot events. Nesbø does a phenomenal job shifting the narrative between the killer and those searching for him, creating page-turning tension for the reader. I do intend on catching up with the rest of the series! 

Warning: the book does deal with dark topics.
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Jo Nesbo is so good at doing dark serial killer thrillers. This one was a little whacky at times, but Harry Hole has seen some stuff. I enjoyed the storyline. The parasite is super creepy. And this one kept me guessing the whole time, which is rare with detective stories for me.
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Harry is back and again he starts in his alcoholic pit. But through a series of circumstances he gets back to investigating. I felt the circumstances and the motivation of the killer to be over the top. There was a lot of misdirection at the end so I did not guess the killer. 
Overall I find it just okay. 3.5 rounded up.
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When I read my first Harry Hole novel, some years ago, it was an entry partway through the series and I immediately bought all of the prior books. Jo Nesbo's characters are complex and they grow and change and Harry is central to this. In Killing Moon, Nesbo is not hiding some of the key life events that preceded this Harry Hole adventure that sent him off to Los Angeles where he's holed up in a seedy room going to a seedy bar and he befriend Lucille. Harry has one special gift that pretty much always saves him and also keeps him deep in the bottle. He cares about people so much, that once they are his humans, that he will do what is necessary to save them. And to save Lucille, Harry has to go home and work privately for a wealthy scoundrel who is implicated in a couple murders. Murders with unusual characteristics that certainly seem like a serial killer may be on the loose in Oslo. He pulls together a motley crew of people as his team, all at the bottom of something, each for different reasons. Perfect: Harry is at the bottom too. And next we watch the police, journalists, politicians and Harry and his crew mess up over and over. And we mess up with him because the murderer, who we know as Prim, early on, is never who we think he might be. Prim is creepy crawly and we know early that he is into some odd things, but not why.  I was proud to have noticed one clue that stood out but I still didn't solve it. I didn't recognize it was a clue. A riveting read, as usual. Nesbo is consistent, his crimes are original, Harry's struggles stay similar but his work on himself varies. His crew grows and changes with him, face danger with varying results that also are original yet consistent with their characters. You don't get jarred by Jo Nesbo's writing.  He creates unbelievable people and crimes but makes them make sense. Great minor characters; Awesome science lessons; Great plot; Wow of an ending. You go Jo.
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Unemployment Harry Hole is intrigued by an older woman (Lucille) who frequents his local bar that reminds him of his deceased mother. Lucille is being harassed by the mob for a debt she owes.   Harry is determined to help her and agrees to be hired by Marcus Roed. Marcus is willing to pay Harry over a million dollars to clear him of being accused of murdering three women, two who had attended Mr. Roed’s party and the other one who is his wife. With the help of a suspended police officer, a former police psychologist, and Harry’s childhood friend, they soon hon in on a serial killer who takes the victim’s brains and heads of those he kills. But, are they looking at the right suspect or will it lead back to Marcus Roed? This book is very suspenseful with many creative twists that make it hard to put down.
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This was my first Harry Hole novel, and I have to say, if they're all this good, I'll definitely go back to the beginning and read my way through the series. It would definitely make a few things more clear.

Overall, this is a great story. It's an interesting mystery. The murders are creative, and the MO of the killer is absolutely fascinating. That alone would keep you reading the page, but when you throw in strong characters and great pacing, you've got yourself an amazing book here. Harry Hole is a fascinating character, but the supporting cast is really where this book shines. I love all of the characters and want to get to know them better.

If you're like me and never read a Harry Hole book before, you won't be too lost reading this book. There are some references to past cases and a couple of characters who are no longer in the series, but nothing was spoiled in such a way that I wouldn't enjoy reading about them when I get to them in the series.
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In this 13th book in the 'Harry Hole' series, the retired Norwegian police detective helps search for a serial killer. The book can be read as a standalone, but familiarity with the series is a plus.


As the story opens, Norwegian former police detective Harry Hole - severely depressed after the death of his wife Rakel - is in a Los Angeles bar, trying to drink himself numb. One of Harry's bar friends is a 72-year-old woman named Lucille, a former actress who borrowed over nine hundred thousand dollars for a movie project. The project fell through and Lucille can't pay back the lenders - mobsters who threaten to kill her. Harry wants to help, and a possible solution presents itself.

A wealthy Norwegian real estate mogul called Marcus Røed, in danger of being arrested for two murders, wants Harry to return to Oslo to hunt down the killer. Harry agrees, with the stipulation that - if he's successful - Harry will be paid almost a million dollars. This would clear Lucille's debt.

Harry soon finds himself back in Oslo, looking into a bizarre set of crimes. Two attractive young women have been murdered: Susanne Anderson's body was found without a brain; and Bertine Bertilsen's body was found without a head.

When the police investigate, they learn both Bertine and Susanne had Marcus Røed as a sugar daddy. In addition, shortly before they disappeared, Bertine and Susanne attended a party thrown by Røed - a party where liquor and cocaine flowed freely. This makes Røed a person of interest in the homicides, and Røed hopes Harry Hole will finger someone else.

Harry can't join the official police investigation, so he forms his own unofficial detective squad. This includes Truls Berntsen - a police detective who's been suspended for alleged misconduct;former police psychologist Ståle‎ Aune - who's hospitalized with pancreatic cancer; and Øystein Eikeland - Harry's childhood friend, who drives a cab. Luckily, Truls Berntsen can still access police files, so Harry's team can collect forensic data, DNA, fingerprints, phone records, etc.

Harry's squad regularly meets in Aune's hospital room, where they plan their investigation, go over the evidence, discuss their findings, speculate about possible perpetrators; and so on. A third murder complicates matters, and Harry's team has a hard time honing in on the killer.

The book's investigative sections alternate with observations by the killer, who calls himself Prim. Prim details the reasons for his crimes, and describes what he does in detail. Prim's methods are riveting, albeit a fit far-fetched. (Warning: Prim's procedures are not for weak stomachs.)

The grotesque killings intrigue the public, and two journalists vie to get scoops for their newspapers: Mona Daa from VG and Terry Våge from Dagbladet. Mona hates that Våge seems to have inside information, and indeed Våge would do almost anything to be first with the news.

While Harry's in Oslo, he reconnects with some old friends, including police detective Katrine Bratt (and her little son Gert); and forensic medical officer Alexandra Sturdza. Both ladies have a soft spot for Harry, who seems to attract women like honey draws flies.

The story is filled with red herrings, surprises, and misdirection, and I give Jo Nesbo high marks for a creative plot. This is a good novel, highly recommended to fans of thrillers.

Thanks to Netgalley, Jo Nesbo, and Knopf for a copy of the manuscript.
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Harry Hole is one of my favorite detective series. I was concerned about where this book was going to go after how the previous book ended but I shouldn’t have worried.  Though still almost compulsively self destructive, Harry with his amazing analytical skills is still such a good and well meaning man. The plot was twisty and interesting. Highly recommend.
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This is a complex mystery thriller featuring Harry Hole doing what he does best. There are many twists that keep you guessing. This deals with child sexual abuse as a back story which is hard to read about and there are graphic murders and cannibalism. A lot of tough and dark elements but Nesbo pulls them together to produce a harrowing mystery. The character of Harry Hole is a complex portrait of someone seemingly at rock bottom that you can't stop rooting for. A satisfying entry in the series.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
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