I think it might be time for Harry Hole to die. Or rather, that time was a few books back. The novels are becoming more and more of a chore (like The Thirst) or worse, they’re becoming fatal for people around Harry Hole. It would one thing for the books if they were specifically well done enough to carry the weight of the series through a slump, or to traffic too much in schlock and tropes (well, cliches) but the books have the ridiculous self-seriousness that was forgivable in the best of the series and annoying now.
We begin as we usually do in the Harry Hole books with the killer giving us a little moment into their raison d’etre as killers. This time it’s about knives! He loves knives! And then also sexual assault and murder. We get a cryptic murder scene, before we cut back to Harry and his life.
I won’t tell you much about the plot of the novel, because that would spoil things, but that’s where the offense lies. The books have always taken a personal turn one way or the other with Harry is either delving into his past as part of the murder solving process or with him delving into his addiction, but this one takes something I was really worried might happen in an early book (using Harry’s friends and family as fodder) and takes it to an awful level.