Harry does it again. The Redbreast Book Review

igeland Sculpture Park, Oslo

Norway

It is 1942: a Norwegian soldiers fighting on the Eastern front, on the German side, is killed. One of his comrades, injured in the same incident, falls in love with a Austrian nurse whilst recuperating.

57 years later, a Detective in Oslo with the unlikely name of Harry Hole is appointed to the Norwegian secret service, his brief is to monitor Neo-Nazi activity in Norway: a fairly mundane assignment that turns out to be anything but….

Norway Akerhus
Akershus fortress in Oslo where scenes in the book are set

 

With many parallels to recent world events and rising anti-multicultural sentiment, Nesbø’s, ‘The Redbreast‘, (which won the Glass Key, the Riverton and the Norwegian Book club Prize for the best ever Norwegian Crime Novel),  will take the reader both on a historic and also a contemporary journey.

Chillingly ironic and yet at times, familiar were some of the attitudes found amongst the more despicable characters in the book. It digs deep into the hearts and minds of those Norwegians who felt passionate enough to risk their lives, fighting alongside and for the Nazis, during the war. They believed in saving Norway from, what they saw, was the Bolshevik advance.

The Novel delves into their individual motives and how they might have felt on their return to Norway, when they discovered they had been labelled ‘traitors,’  shunned by their own society after war’s end; a topic rarely written about in the Western world.

 

statue

 

A different perspective can reveal things hitherto unseen, and at times, I was surprised I that Ifelt a little sympathy for these men, despite philosophically being poles apart from them.  It made me question the modern politic climate of Norway. The massacre on Utøya, Norway and now the terrorist attack on the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, which appears to have links to Utøya, made me wonder  if there might be some more citizens with these beliefs, hidden surreptitiously, under a guise of normality. Let’s hope not.

 

Oslo fjord
Oslo fjord

The Good: Following a hunch that several murders are linked, Harry pays a high personal price in the book, but still manages to find a little romance in all the horror. I found this an unlikely but interesting diversion, but it provides Hole with a clue vital in solving the mystery.

The Bad: Although we know the killer’s mind from the start (but not who he is), he remains carefully hidden through out the book, his actions being explained by a slightly unbelievable trip to a psychiatrist.

The Ugly: One wonders how many readers might feel sympathy for these “traitors” or even perversely idolize them as historic “warriors,” using this as justification for the Neo Nazi  “thuggish” behaviour. I am not sure.  Yet there is still the theme of redemption offered up to readers too, albeit in small amounts.

This was the first of the Harry Hole series to be translated into English, and since then, every book in the series has been translated and was a best seller.

Recommended for those who like Nordic Noir/Scandi Detective fiction and have not yet read Harry Hole.

StPA’s Rating: 7/10

 

 

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Sunday Sayings

schnauzer animation

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Under capitalism man exploits man;

under socialism the reverse is true.

~Polish proverb

The following quote comes from a rapper. Whilst there are few rap songs I like, these words filled me with a sense of hope – even for those who have lost it all.


“No matter how dirty your past is,

your future is still spotless.”


–Drake (Canadian rapper)

sunday sayings

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.


Sunday Sayings are invariably Something to Ponder About

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Sunday Sayings – Reality

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog. I became fascinated with traditional proverbs, quotes and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

Stradbroke Island

Malice leaves reality behind.
(Mexican Proverb)

Since the mind drives the body, it’s the way you think that eventually makes the dreams you dream possible or impossible. 

Your reality is simply a reflection of your thoughts and the way you routinely contemplate what you know to be true. 

Source: Marc and Angel

Dreams are what you hope for;

reality is what you plan for.


(Albanian Proverb)

We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.



– Aristotle


Sayings, quotes and proverbs offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way a relay runner might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

sunday sayings

Sunday Sayings: you may strongly disagree or agree. Everyone’s opinion is important.

What do you make of the words shared today?


They are invariably Something to Ponder About

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Sunday Sayings -Nature

lizard

Inspired by Marie’s post about the restorative effect of nature, and Peggy’s post referring to an article, in the Guardian, about nature being loved to death in some National Park areas of the world, I found these wise words:

lizard
Bearded Dragon at Coolangatta Beach, Australia

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world “

– John Muir

Planet earth is large, yet the systems we depend on, and everything within, is connected in some way – through the water we drink, the air we breathe, or the soil in which we grow our food.

Rainforest

“The proper use of science is not to conquer nature, but to live in it”

– Barry Commoner

Damage to one area can have an unanticipated implication for another system. That might be beneficial, or it might be detrimental. It might help in the short term, but be harmful to diversity long term. The ecosystems are complex, mostly resilient, but also sometimes very fragile.

Weekly Proverb

“When someone points at the moon, don’t look at the finger.”

– Ancient Buddhist proverb

Worth remembering is the sageful advice of the Ancient Buddhist proverb, written at a time when the environmental concerns we face today, could never have been contemplated. Yet the words seem just as applicable today.

Sunday Sayings

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Normally I would invite your comment and discussion on the various interpretations and intentions, of the weekly sayings and proverbs.

This week, I am inspired by Manja, and appreciate any comments or opinions you feel moved to offer, of your own volition.

As always, everyone’s opinion is important and should be respected.

Sunday Sayings – Wisdom

porch in Sweden

Weekly Proverb

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader.

schnauzer dogs
It is good to stand out from the crowd

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

–Ingrid Bergman

Sayings offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Weekly Quotes


“I hate that word: ‘lucky.’ It cheapens a lot of hard work.”


–Peter Dinklage

Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Do you feel that luck has a lot to do with success? Are some folks luckier than others? Does that give them an advantage in life?

Or is it merely the rhythms of chance, and life ‘evens out’ in the end?

Isn’t life not always fair and even?

Something to Ponder About

I invite you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?