The Leopard By Jo Nesbo

This mystery begins with two victims, young women, who are found murdered in Oslo. They had drowned, in their own blood. Charming start right. Jo Nesbo keeps on coming up with these extraordinary serial killer stories. I don’t know if that’s brilliant or just extremely creepy. As these murders are publicized by the media the heat gets turned up for the police. Meanwhile within the Force there is a battle of sorts going on as well. One division is trying to take over all the murder investigations and it seems as if the motive is to get all the glory not necessarily keep the citizens safe.

At each of the murder scenes there seem to be no clues and no murder weapon either. There is only one man who has the experience to deal with serial killings. He had recently found the Snowman but after events involving that case he disappeared. The detective, Harry Hole, quit the Force and left Norway. You will have to read the Snowman as I’m not about to tell you what happened to make Hole quit everything.

Anyway a cop is sent to retrieve Hole. He is hiding in Hong Kong. He doesn’t want to come back to work a case. He refuses to hear any details about it but he finds out his father is in critical condition and dying in hospital. That is what it takes to get him back. Well you know he has to go back, just not the reasons.
Another victim turns up and she just happens to be an MP which sends the investigation up another notch. Suddenly Hole is interested.

Initially Hole has to find a connection between the victims which of course, he does. What he also discovers is the killer is insane. Harry deals with his own personal demons throughout this book as well; the love of his life disappearing; his father dying; and his constant struggle with wanting to anesthetize his pain with drugs and or alcohol.

Someone working closely with Harry is leaking information to another police squad and maybe jeopardizing his whole operation to add to his troubles. Now he has to get to the bottom of that mystery as well as figure out why all these seemingly unconnected people are dying. Harry is convinced the answer is in the past – he just has to figure out whose past he needs to look into.

This is another whopper of a book but again totally worthwhile. Harry is almost an anti-hero. You want him to win and you really want him to get better but know that he never will. You also want him to find love and happiness; again I don’t know if that is possible for this great character.

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