Book Review: Police by Jo Nesbo

Police follows Harry Hole as he investigates a series of murders targeting police officers in Oslo. The killer seems to be seeking revenge against the police for some past grievance, brutally killing officers in twisted and symbolic ways. Harry is no longer with the police force but gets drawn into the case as the body count rises and the police force is shaken to its core.

The plot twists and turns through Oslo’s seedy underworld as Harry follows clues and tries to get inside the mind of the murderer. In classic Nesbo fashion, the ending includes some major reveals and surprises. I found the plot to be tightly paced and gripping, keeping me hooked throughout the 400+ pages.

Police by Jo Nesbo

AuthorJo Nesbo
GenreCrime, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publication DateOctober 15, 2013
Length448 pages

Where to Purchase

The Characters

Of course, a huge part of what makes this book so enjoyable is the characters, particularly the protagonist, Harry Hole. Harry is the archetypal flawed detective – brilliant but self-destructive, an alcoholic with ruined relationships in his past. His defects somehow make him more relatable and human. I’ve come to care about Harry after reading several books in this series, so I was invested in seeing him take on this case and conquer his own inner demons along the way.

In addition to Harry, Nesbo populates the story with other memorable personalities, like Harry’s colleague Katrine Bratt and new police investigator Bjørn Holm. The killer himself is menacing yet fascinating. I thought the characters were vivid, complex, and believable.

The Writing Style

Jo Nesbo has a very cinematic and descriptive writing style that brings both characters and settings to life. I could easily visualize Oslo streets and fixtures as he described them. The pacing feels urgent, with short punchy sentences and chapters. He also includes a lot of witty banter and black humor between characters, which lightens up some otherwise dark scenes.

I find Nesbo’s writing style to be very engaging and textured. He mixes high stakes action with introspective character moments seamlessly. The visceral details really make the crimes come alive in a haunting way.

My Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I thought Police was an exhilarating and superbly crafted crime novel. As a Harry Hole fan, I loved seeing this beloved character take on a new challenge while battling old demons. The pacing and suspense kept me hooked throughout. I enjoy Jo Nesbo’s immersive writing style and ability to delve into psychological darkness. He portrays the seedy criminal underworld of Oslo in a realistic and gritty manner.

Police is a great addition to the Harry Hole series, delivering all of the action, atmosphere, intriguing characters and plot twists I’ve come to expect. I’d recommend it to any fan of dark, chilling Nordic crime fiction or detective stories with complex protagonists. It’s a compelling page-turner that will keep you guessing until the end. I’m already eager for Nesbo’s next installment featuring Harry Hole!


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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