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In many ways, The Redbreast—the third novel in Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø’s best-selling Harry Hole series—is as much of an enthralling crime thriller as it is an epic war novel. Here, hard-headed detective Harry Hole is tasked with monitoring neo-Nazi activity in modern-day Oslo when someone mysteriously purchases an expensive, sought-after gun, known as the Marklin Rifle, from the black market. Subsequently, as more murders of dishonored soldiers that conspired with Nazi Germany are discovered, Hole uncovers a dangerous conspiracy where Norway’s violent past and restless future collide.

Switching from Hole’s journey to the frontlines of World War II, the 2000 novel cleverly turns the detective trope on its head, asking the reader to hold all of the pieces while Hole desperately tries to turn over every stone and catch the killer. Its unflinching look at the violence and effects of war, as well as its vivid character development, has garnered The Redbreast, which was translated into English by Don Bartlett in 2006, numerous accolades and awards including the 2000 Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize for Best Novel of the Year, and has also cemented Nesbø as one of the most exciting Scandinavian crime writers to date. —Rachel Sonis

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