19 Best Jo Nesbo Books

Jo Nesbo Books: Jo Nesbø is a Norwegian writer, musician, economist, and former soccer player and reporter. More than 3 million copies of his novels had been sold in Norway as of March 2014; his work has been translated into over 50 languages, and by 2021 had sold some 50 million copies worldwide

Best Jo Nesbo Books

The Kingdom: A novel Nov 10, 2020 by Jo Nesbo , Robert Ferguson

Roy has never left the quiet mountain town he grew up in, unlike his little brother Carl who couldn’t wait to get out and escape his troubled past. Just like everyone else in town, Roy believed Carl was gone for good. But Carl has big plans for his hometown. And when he returns with a mysterious new wife and a business opportunity that seems too good to be true, simmering tensions begin to surface and unexplained deaths in the town’s past come under new scrutiny. Soon powerful players set their sights on taking the brothers down by exposing their role in the town’s sordid history.

But Roy and Carl are survivors, and no strangers to violence. Roy has always protected his younger brother. As the body count rises, though, Roy’s loyalty to family is tested. And then Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, Shannon, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. Roy’s world is coming apart and soon there will be no turning back. He’ll be forced to choose between his own flesh and blood and a future he had never dared to believe possible.

Knife: A New Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series) Jul 9, 2019 by Jo Nesbo , Neil Smith

Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel–the only woman he’s ever loved–has ended it with him, permanently. He’s been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it’s in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison–free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that’s clearly not his own on his hands, it’s only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined.

The Bat: A Harry Hole Novel (1) (Harry Hole Series) by Jo Nesbo , Neil Smith

Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case.  Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three year old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case.  Together, they discover that this is only the latest in a string of unsolved murders, and the pattern points toward a psychopath working his way across the country. As they circle closer and closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those investigating the case.

Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole series Book 2) Feb 11, 2014 by Jo Nesbo

When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case.
 
But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls. Surrounded by round-the-clock traffic noise, Harry wanders the streets of Bangkok lined with go-go bars, temples, opium dens, and tourist traps, trying to piece together the story of the ambassador’s death even though no one asked him to, and no one wants him to—not even Harry himself.

The Redbreast: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series Book 3) Jan 3, 2012 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

Jo Nesbø, the New York Times bestselling author of The Snowman, has solidified his spot as one of the most exciting Scandinavian thriller writer in the crime fiction business. The Redbreast is a fabulous installment in Nesbø’s tough-as-nails series protagonist, Oslo police detective Harry Hole. 

Detective Harry Hole embarrassed the force, and for his sins he’s been reassigned to mundane surveillance tasks. But while monitoring neo-Nazi activities in Oslo, Hole is inadvertently drawn into a mystery with deep roots in Norway’s dark past—when members of the nation’s government willingly collaborated with Nazi Germany. 

Advertisements
Advertisements

The Snowman: A Harry Hole Novel (7) (Harry Hole series) May 10, 2011 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.  Inspector Harry Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he’s received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. But this is a killer who makes his own rules . . . and he’ll break his pattern just to keep the game interesting, as he draws Harry ever closer into his twisted web. With brilliantly realized characters and hair-raising suspense, international bestselling author Jo Nesbø presents his most chilling case yet—one that will test Harry Hole to the very limits of his sanity.

The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole Series Book 11) May 9, 2017 by Jo Nesbo , Neil Smith

The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled.
        Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene. 
        The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.
        But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

The Devil's Star: A Novel (Harry Hole series Book 5) Jan 3, 2012 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat—with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner. When another woman is reported missing five days later, and her severed finger turns up adorned with a red star-shaped diamond ring, Harry fears a serial killer is at work.

But Hole’s determination to capture a fiend and to expose Waaler’s crimes is leading him into shadowy places where both investigations merge in unexpected ways, forcing him to make difficult decisions about a future he may not live to see.

The Son: A novel by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for almost half his life: serving time for crimes he didn’t commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and a stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his Buddha-like absolution. Years earlier Sonny’s father, a corrupt cop, took his own life rather than face exposure. Now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed. When Sonny discovers a shocking truth about his father’s suicide, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his and his father’s demise. But he’s also being hunted, and by enemies too many to count. Two questions remain: who will get to him first, and what will he do when he’s cornered?

Police: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole series Book 10) Oct 15, 2013 by Jo Nesbo

For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His brilliant insights and dedication to his job have saved countless lives over the years. But as the killer grows increasingly bold and the media reaction increasingly hysterical, the detective is nowhere to be found. This time, when those he loves and values most are facing terrible danger, Harry is in no position to protect anyone—least of all himself.

Advertisements
Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo

Police: A Harry Hole Novel (Harry Hole series Book 10) Oct 15, 2013 by Jo Nesbo

The #1 international bestseller from one of the most celebrated crime writers in Europe—the New York Times bestselling author of The Snowman—Jo Nesbø’s extraordinary thriller Nemesis features Norwegian homicide detective Harry Hole, “the next in the long line of great noir crime detectives,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) in a case as dark and chilling as an Oslo winter’s night. The second Harry Hole novel to be released in America—following the critically acclaimed publication of The RedbirdNemesis is a superb and surprising nail-biter that places Jo Nesbø in the company of Lawrence Block, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, and other top masters of crime fiction. Nesbø has already received the Glass Key Award and the Booksellers’ Prize, Norway’s most prestigious literary awards. Nemesis is proof that there are certainly more honors in this extraordinary writer’s future.

The Redeemer: A Harry Hole Novel (6) (Harry Hole Series) May 21, 2013 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in Oslo, leaving one of the singers dead in the street. The trail will lead Harry Hole, Oslo’s best investigator and worst civil servant, deep into the darkest corners of the city and, eventually, to Croatia. 

An assassin forged in the war-torn region has been brought to Oslo to settle an old debt. As the police circle in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate and the danger mounts for Harry and his colleagues

The Leopard: A Harry Hole Novel (8) (Harry Hole series) Dec 13, 2011 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping the trauma of his last case in squalid opium dens, when two young women are found dead in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches a fever pitch. There are no clues, the police investigation is stalled, and Harry—the one man who might be able to help—can’t be found. After he returns to Oslo, the killer strikes again, Harry’s instincts take over, and nothing can keep him from the investigation, though there is little to go on. Worse, he will soon come to understand that he is dealing with a psychopath who will put him to the test, both professionally and personally, as never before.

Phantom: A Harry Hole Novel (9) (Harry Hole series) Oct 2, 2012 by Jo Nesbo

When Harry Hole moved to Hong Kong, he thought he was escaping the traumas of his life in Oslo and his career as a detective for good. But now, the unthinkable has happened—Oleg, the boy he helped raise, has been arrested for killing a man. Harry can’t believe that Oleg is a murderer, so he returns to hunt down the real killer.

Although he’s off the police force, he still has a case to solve that will send him into the depths of the city’s drug culture, where a shockingly deadly new street drug is gaining popularity. This most personal of investigations will force Harry to confront his past and the wrenching truth about Oleg and himself.

Headhunters (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Sep 6, 2011 by Jo Nesbo , Don Bartlett

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he owns a priceless Peter Paul Rubens painting that’s been lost since World War II—and Roger Brown just so happens to dabble in art theft. But when he breaks into Greve’s apartment, he finds more than just the painting. And Clas Greve may turn out to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to Roger Brown.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Macbeth: William Shakespeare's Macbeth Retold: A Novel Apr 10, 2018 by Jo Nesbo

Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way. 
 
Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind

The Man on the Balcony: A Martin Beck Police Mystery (3) Jan 19, 2011 by Maj Sjowall , Per Wahloo , Jo Nesbo

The chilling third — and breakthrough — novel in the Martin Beck mystery series by the internationally renowned crime writing duo, finds Martin Beck investigating a string of child murders. With an introduction by Jo Nesbo: “Sjöwall and Wahlöö have shoulders that can accomodate all of today’s crime writers. And we are all there.”

In the once peaceful parks of Stockholm, a killer is stalking young girls and disposing their bodies. The city is on edge, and an undercurrent of fear has gripped its residents. Martin Beck, now a superintendent, has two possible witnesses: a silent, stone-cold mugger and a mute three year old boy. With the likelihood of another murder growing as each day passes, the police force work night and day. But their efforts have offered little insight into the methodology of the killer. Then a distant memory resurfaces in Beck’s mind, and he may just have the break he needs.

Blood on Snow: A novel Apr 7, 2015 by Jo Nesbo , Neil Smith

From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels—a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract killer who draws us into an unexpected meditation on death and love.

This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake. . . .

Midnight Sun: A novel Feb 16, 2016 by Jo Nesbo ( 42

He calls himself Ulf—as good a name as any, he thinks—and the only thing he’s looking for is a place where he won’t be found by Oslo’s most notorious drug lord: the Fisherman. He was once the Fisherman’s fixer, but after betraying him, Ulf is now the one his former boss needs fixed—which may not be a problem for a man whose criminal reach is boundless. When Ulf gets off the bus in Kåsund, on Norway’s far northeastern border, he sees a “flat, monotonous, bleak landscape . . . the perfect hiding place. Hopefully.”
           
The locals—native Sami and followers of a particularly harsh Swedish version of Christianity—seem to accept Ulf’s explanation that he’s come to hunt, even if he has no gun and the season has yet to start. And a bereaved, taciturn woman and her curious, talkative young son supply him with food, the use of a cabin deep in the woods, a weapon—and companionship that stirs something in him he thought was long dead.