The Leopard

Paperback | November 1, 2011

byJo Nesbo

BOOK 8 of 10Harry Hole series
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Two women are found murdered in Oslo — both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims' faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department's only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole.

HARRY HOLE #8.

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From the Publisher

Two women are found murdered in Oslo — both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims' faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department's only specialist on ser...

With his ten internationally acclaimed crime novels featuring Detective Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo has achieved an unparalleled success both in his native country Norway and abroad, winning the hearts of critics, booksellers and readers alike. Translated into more than forty languages, awarded a whole range of awards and boasting record-brea...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 7.97 × 5.15 × 1.3 inPublished:November 1, 2011Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307359735

ISBN - 13:9780307359735

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Customer Reviews of The Leopard

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Complex Just as good as the Snowman, which I loved. Keeps you guessing till the end.
Date published: 2014-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Leopard Excellent. Can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2014-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Leopard My favorite Harry Hole mystery so far! I had it solved three different ways until the captivating conclusion was revealed. I spent most of a whole snowy day finishing it up, just couldn't put it down. Excellent, intricate writing by Jo Nesbo, an Norwegian Ian Rankin. Write on Jo Nesbo, write on!
Date published: 2014-01-25

Extra Content

Read from the Book

She awoke . Blinked in the pitch darkness. Yawned, and breathed through her nose. She blinked again. Felt a tear run down her face, felt it dissolve the salt of other tears. But saliva was no longer entering her throat; her mouth was dry and hard. Her cheeks were forced out by the pressure from inside. The foreign body in her mouth felt as though it would explode her head. But what was it? What was it? The first thing she thought when she awoke was that she wanted to go back. Back into the dark, warm depths that had enveloped her. The injection he had given her had not worn off yet, but she knew pain was on the way, felt it coming in the slow, dull beat of her pulse and the jerky flow of blood through her brain. Where was he? Was he standing right behind her? She held her breath, listened. She couldn’t hear anything, but she could sense a presence.Like a leopard. Someone had told her leopards made so little noise they could sneak right up to their prey in the dark. They could regulate their breathing so that it was in tune with yours. Could hold their breath when you held yours. She was certain she could feel his body heat. What was he waiting for? She exhaled again. And at that same moment was sure she had felt breath on her neck. She whirled round, hit out, but was met by air. She hunched up, tried to make herself small, to hide. Pointless.How long had she been unconscious?The drug wore off. The sensation lasted only for a fraction of a second. But it was enough to give her the foretaste, the promise. The promise of what was to come.The foreign body placed on the table in front of her had been the size of a billiard ball, made of shiny metal with punched-out small holes and figures and symbols. From one of the holes protruded a red wire with a looped end, which instantly made her think of the Christmas tree that would need decorating at her parents’ house on 23 December, in seven days. With shiny balls, Christmas pixies, hearts, candles and Norwegian flags. In eight days they would be singing a traditional Christmas carol, and she would see the twinkling eyes of her nephews and nieces as they opened their presents. All the things she should have done differently. All the days she should have lived to the full, avoiding escapism, should have filled with happiness, breath and love.The places she had merely travelled through, the places she was planning to visit. The men she had met, the man she had still not met. The foetus she had got rid of when she was seventeen, the children she had not yet had. The days she had wasted for the days she thought she would have.Then she had stopped thinking about anything except the knife that had been brandished before her. And the gentle voice that had told her to put the ball in her mouth. She had done so, of course she had. With her heart thumping she had opened her mouth as wide as she could and pushed the ball in with the wire left hanging outside. The metal tasted bitter and salty, like tears. Then her head had been forced back, and the steel burned against her skin as the knife was laid flat against her throat. The ceiling and the room were illuminated by a standard lamp leaning against the wall in one of the corners. Bare, grey concrete. Apart from the lamp, the room contained a white plastic camping table, two chairs, two empty beer bottles and two people. Him and her. She smelt a leather glove as a finger had tugged lightly at the red loop hanging from her mouth. And the next moment her head had seemed to explode.The ball had expanded and forced itself against the inside of her mouth. But however wide she opened her jaws, the pressure was constant. He had examined her with a concentrated, engaged expression, like a dentist checking to see whether the orthodontic brace was sitting as it should. A little smile intimated satisfaction.With her tongue she could feel circular ridges around the holes in the ball and that was what was pressing against her palate, against the soft flesh of her tongue, against her teeth, against the uvula. She had tried to say something. He had listened patiently to the inarticulate sounds emerging from her mouth. Had nodded when she gave up, and had taken out a syringe. The drop on the tip had glinted in the torchlight. He had whispered something in her ear: ‘Don’t touch the wire.’Then he had injected her in the neck. She was out in seconds.She listened to her own terrified breathing as she blinked in the darkness. She had to do something.She placed her palms on the chair seat, which was clammy from her perspiration, and pushed herself up. No one stopped her.She advanced with tiny steps until she hit a wall. Groped her way along to a smooth, cold surface. The metal door. She pulled at the bolt. It didn’t budge. Locked. Of course it was locked. What had she been thinking? Was that laughter she could hear, or was the sound coming from inside her head? Where was he? Why was he playing with her like this?Do something. Think. But to think, she would first have to get rid of this metal ball before the pain drove her insane. She put her thumb and first finger in the corners of her mouth. Felt the ridges. Tried in vain to get her fingers under one of them. Had a coughing fit and a panic attack when she couldn’t breathe. She realised that the ridges had made the flesh around her windpipe swell, that soon she would be in danger of suffocating. She kicked the metal door, tried to scream, but the ball stifled the sound. She gave up again. Leaned against the wall.Listened. Was that his wary tread she could hear? Was he moving around the room? Was he playing blind man’s buff with her? Or was it her blood throbbing past her ears? She steeled herself against the pain and forced her mouth shut. The ridges were hardly down before they sprang back and forced her mouth open again. The ball seemed to be pulsating now, as though it had become an iron heart, a part of her.Do something. Think.Springs. The ridges were spring-loaded.They had jumped up when he pulled the wire.‘Don’t touch the wire,’ he had said.Why not? What would happen?She slid down the wall until she was sitting. Cold damp rose from the concrete floor. She wanted to scream again, but she couldn’t. Quiet. Silence.All the things she should have said to those she loved, instead of the words that had served to fill the silence with those to whom she was indifferent.There was no way out. There was just her and this unbelievable pain, her head exploding.‘Don’t touch the wire.’If she pulled it, the ridges might retract into the ball, and she would be spared the pain.Her thoughts ran in the same circles. How long had she been here? Two hours? Eight hours? Twenty minutes?If all you had to do was pull the wire, why hadn’t she already done it? Because the warning had been given by an obvious sicko? Or was this part of the game? Being tricked into resisting the temptation to stop this quite unnecessary pain? Or was the game about defying the warning and pulling the wire, causing . . . causing something dreadful to happen? What would happen? What was this ball?Yes, it was a game, a brutal game. And she had to play. The pain was intolerable, her throat was swelling, soon she would suffocate. She tried to scream again, but it subsided into a sob, and she blinked and blinked, without producing any further tears.Her fingers found the string hanging from her lips. She pulled tentatively until it was taut.There was so much she regretted not having done, naturally. But if a life of self-denial would had placed her anywhere else than here, right now, she would have chosen that. She just wanted to live. Any sort of life. As simple as that.She pulled the wire.The needles shot out of the circular ridges. They were seven centi metres long. Four burst through her cheeks on each side, three into the sinuses, two up the nasal passages and two out through the chin. Two needles pierced the windpipe and one the right eye, one the left. Several needles penetrated the rear part of the palate and reached the brain. But that was not the direct cause of her death. Because the metal ball impeded movement, she was unable to spit out the blood pouring from the wounds into her mouth. Instead it ran down her windpipe and into her lungs, not allowing oxygen to be absorbed into her bloodstream, which in turn led to a cardiac arrest and what the pathologist would call in his report cerebral hypoxia, that is, lack of oxygen to her brain. In other words, Borgny Stem-Myhre drowned.

Editorial Reviews

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERFinalist for the Galaxy National Book Awards International Author of the Year “If you feel that personal responsibility, cracks in the welfare state and the problems of parenthood are fair game for the crime novel, then Jo Nesbo is your man. . . . If, however, your taste is for tough and gritty narratives with a relentlessly page-turning quality, well . . . Jo Nesbø is still your man. That he is able to combine the urgency of the best storytellers with a keen and intelligent engagement with social issues may well be the reason why Nesbø is shaping up to be the next big name in Scandinavian crime fiction.” The Independent “The Leopard rewards you with a finale as unexpected and thought-provoking as any in recent mystery-fiction memory." San Francisco Chronicle“A cracking good thriller. . . . Immerse yourself and enjoy the ride.” The Guardian (UK)“Once you read a Nesbo novel, you’re hooked on this author.” The Chronicle Herald “If you like Michael Connelly, you’re going to like Jo Nesbø.” ELLE (France)  “Nesbo is a master of grimly fascinating, multi-layered intrigue.” Winnipeg Free Press"The eighth Harry Hole novel competes with the very best in the genre. The Leopard is a veritable hyperbole of a suspense novel...with an intrigue that both grips and rattles the reader from the very first moment." Dagbladet (Norway)"Another top-quality crime novel.... Jo Nesbø has once again crafted a linguistic fireworks of a book." Aftenposten (Norway)