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Nemesis by Jo Nesbø : #AToZChallenge #BookRecommendations

Thriller Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

After long years of being away from the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to write about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts will be linked here.

Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.

Entries involve:



After Mr Mercedes by Stephen King, I bring you Nemesis by Jo Nesbø.

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø: Book Description

Captured on closed-circuit television: A man walks into an Oslo bank, puts a gun to a cashier’s head, and tells her to count to twenty-five. When he doesn’t get his money fast enough, he pulls the trigger. The young woman dies—and two million Norwegian kroner disappear without a trace.

After a drunken evening with former girlfriend Anna Bethsen, Police Detective Harry Hole wakes up at home with a headache, no cell phone, and no memory of the past twelve hours. The same day, Anna is found shot dead in her bedroom, making Hole a prime suspect in the investigation led by his hated adversary, Tom Waaler. Meanwhile, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery, sending rogue detective Hole from the streets of Oslo to steaming Brazil in a race to close two cases and clear his name. But Waaler isn’t finished with his longtime nemesis quite yet.

Nemesis by Jo Nesbø: Excerpt

The Plan
I’m going to die. And it makes no sense. That wasn’t the plan, not my plan, anyway. I may have been heading this way all the time without realising. It wasn’t my plan. My plan was better. My plan made sense.

I’m staring down the muzzle of a gun and I know that’s where it will come from. The messenger of death. The ferryman. Time for a last laugh. If you can see light at the end of the tunnel, it may be a spit of flame. Time for a last tear. We could have turned this life into something good, you and I. If we had followed the plan. One last thought. Everyone asks what the meaning of life is, but no one asks about the meaning of death.

The Astronaut
The old man reminded Harry of an astronaut. The comical short steps, the stiff movements, the dead, black eyes and the shoes shuffling along the parquet floor. As if he were frightened to lose contact with the ground and float away into space.

Harry looked at the clock on the white wall above the exit. 15.16. Outside the window, in Bogstadveien, the Friday crowds hurry past. The low October sun is reflected in the wing mirror of a car driving away in the rush hour.

Harry concentrated on the old man. Hat plus elegant grey overcoat in dire need of a clean. Beneath it: tweed jacket, tie and worn grey trousers with a needle-sharp crease. Polished shoes, down at the heel. One of those pensioners of whom Majorstuen seems to be full. This wasn’t conjecture. Harry knew that August Schulz was eighty-one years old and an ex-clothes retailer who had lived all his life in Majorstuen, apart from a period he spent in Auschwitz during the War. And the stiff knees were the result of a fall from a Ringveien footbridge which he used on his daily visits to his daughter. The impression of a mechanical doll was reinforced by the fact that his arms were bent perpendicularly at the elbow and thrust forward. A brown walking stick hung over his right forearm and his left hand gripped a bank giro he was holding out for the short-haired young man at position number 2. Harry couldn’t see the face of the cashier, but he knew he was staring at the old man with a mixture of sympathy and irritation.

It was 15.17 now, and finally it was August Schulz’s turn.


About the author, Jo Nesbø

Jo Nesbø is a Norwegian writer, musician, economist, and former soccer player and reporter. His work has been translated into over 50 languages, and by 2021 had sold some 50 million copies worldwide, making him the most successful Norwegian author of all time.

Why pick up Nemesis by Jo Nesbø

I envy Nesbø his economy of prose, and his ability to hit you with non-stop action without tiring you out, at least for a long while.  Though Harry Hole, the protagonist, is your typically flawed, distant, drink-slugging detective, he grows on you.

Nemesis is all about revenge. The plot moves from Norway to Brazil through complicated twists, and includes a varied cast of characters including bank robbers, corrupt police, gypsies, cheating spouses, addicts, prisoners, a rich executive, and so on, and somehow (I’m not quite sure how)  Nesbø manages to tie it all together. There are parallel mysteries, but both feed into each other, and our tortured but smart hero manages to straddle them both.

This book is the fourth in a series, but can be read as a standalone. I loved the sparseness of the series, much like stark yet beautiful Norway. I also really liked Nesbø ‘s The Snowman (made into a movie), but Nemesis holds its own with its complexity of plot. Pick it up if you like yourself some Nordic fiction, and I recommend you start with The Redbreast in order to appreciate the complexity of the story this prolific author has created.

Have you read the book Nemesis by Jo Nesbø? If yes, what did you think of it? What crime novels have you read lately ?

Through the month of April,  to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m  holding this giveaway:

A to Z Challenge GiveawayEnter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this


Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.

If you enjoyed the post,  click on any or all of the following to stay updated:

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Marking this one!

  • Arlee Bird says:

    I’m not familiar with the author or this book, but it sounds like the kind of story I would like. And from your description of the writing style I think I would like that too.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Lee, you just might. Fair warning though–it gets gory at times.

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    I think I’ll be skipping this one.

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge My Languishing TBR: N

  • cassmob says:

    It sounds quite exhausting with all that happening.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      That’s the strange part. With all of that happening, it still remains engaging.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    The book certainly starts out with riveting scene. I’m already hoping the title means the bad guy meets a just fate.

    You’re on N! Congratulations.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      It does, and most other scenes are riveting, too!

      I know, right? N! It will soon be Z, and April will be done 🙂

  • I have read some of Jo Nesbo but I don’t think I read this one. May be adding it to my list.

  • The youngest of my brothers loves Jo Nesbo’s books. I read one, and stopped there. Not this one.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I like his work, but I can see why some of us might not. I find myself craving less dark reads on some days.

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. I have purchased your book, waiting for its release.. haven’t read Jo Nesbo book, currently reading Agatha Christie.. 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Larry, thanks SO much! Having you pick up my book is such a privilege. I remember your read and review of You Beneath Your Skin. Truly appreciate it.

      And you can never go wrong with an Agatha Christie!