The Thirst: A Harry Hole Novel

Hardcover | May 9, 2017

byJo Nesbo

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#1 International Best Seller 

In this electrifying new thriller from the author of Police and The Snowman, Inspector Harry Hole hunts down a serial murderer who targets his victims . . . on Tinder.
 
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.

STARRED REVIEW 
"Exceptional . . . Nesbo depicts a heartbreakingly conflicted Harry, who both wants to forget the horrors he’s trying to prevent and knows he has to remember them in all their grim detail."
--Publishers Weekly

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From the Publisher

#1 International Best Seller  In this electrifying new thriller from the author of Police and The Snowman, Inspector Harry Hole hunts down a serial murderer who targets his victims . . . on Tinder.   The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating t...

JO NESBØ is a musician, songwriter, and economist, as well as a writer. His Harry Hole novels include The Redeemer, The Snowman, The Leopard and Phantom, and he is also the author of several stand-alone novels and the Doctor Proctor series of children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Glass Key for best Nor...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:480 pages, 9.25 × 6.25 × 1.19 inPublished:May 9, 2017Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735272476

ISBN - 13:9780735272477

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PrologueHe stared into the white nothingness. The way he had done for almost three years. No one saw him, and he saw no one. Apart from each time the door opened and enough steam was sucked out for him to be able to glimpse a naked man for a brief moment before the door closed and everything was shrouded in fog. The baths would be closing soon. He was alone. He wrapped the white towelling bathrobe more tightly around him, got up from the wooden bench and walked out, past the empty swimming pool and into the changing room. No trickling showers, no conversations in Turkish, no bare feet padding across the tiled floor. He looked at himself in the mirror. Ran a finger along the scar that was still visible after the last operation. It had taken him time to get used to his new face. His finger carried on down his throat, across his chest, and came to a halt at the start of the tattoo. He removed the padlock from his locker, pulled on his trousers and put his coat on over the still damp bathrobe. Tied his shoelaces. He made sure he was definitely alone before going over to a locker with a coded padlock, one with a splash of blue paint on it. He turned the lock until it read 0999. Removed the lock and opened the door. Took a moment to admire the big, beautiful revolver that lay inside before taking hold of the red hilt and putting it in his coat pocket. Then he removed the envelope and opened it. A key. An address, and some more detailed information.There was one more thing in the locker. Painted black, made of iron. He held it up against the light with one hand, looking at the wrought ironwork with fascination. He would have to clean it, scrub it, but he already felt aroused at the thought of using it. Three years. Three years in a white nothingness, in a desert of empty days. Now it was time. Time he drank from the well of life again. Time he returned.Harry woke with a start. Started out at the semi-darkness of the bedroom. It was him again, he was back, he was here. “Nightmare, darling?” The whispered voice by his side was warm and soothing. He turned towards her. Her brown eyes studied his. And the apparition faded and disappeared. “I’m here,” Rakel said. “And here I am,” he said. “Who was it this time?” “No one,” he lied, and touched her cheek. “Go back to sleep.” Harry closed his eyes. Waited until he was sure she had closed hers before opening his again. He studied her face. He had seen him in a forest this time. Moorland, wreathed in white fog that swirled around them. He had raised his hand and pointed something towards Harry. He could just make out the demonic, tattooed face on his naked chest. Then the fog had grown thicker, and he was gone. Gone again. “And here I am,” Harry Hole whispered. Chapter OneElise walked down Thorvald Meyers gate, past plain four-storey buildings that had once housed the working classes in a poor part of a poor city, but where one square metre now cost as much as in London or Stockholm. September in Oslo. The darkness was back at last, and the drawn-out, annoyingly light summer nights were long gone, with all the hysterical, cheerful, stupid self-expression of summer. In September Oslo reverted to its true self: melancholic, reserved, efficient. A solid facade, but not without its dark corners and secrets. Much like her, apparently. She quickened her pace; there was rain in the air, mist, the spray when God sneezed, as one of her dates had put it in an attempt to be poetic. She was going to give up Tinder. Tomorrow. Enough was enough. Enough randy men whose way of looking at her made her feel like a whore when she met them in bars. Enough crazy psychopaths and stalkers who stuck like mud, sucking time, energy and security from her. Enough pathetic losers who made her feel like she was one of them. They said Internet dating was the cool way to meet new people, that it was nothing to be ashamed of anymore, that everyone was doing it. But that wasn’t true. People met each other at work, in classrooms, through friends, at the gym, in cafes, on planes, buses, trains. They met each other the way they were supposed to meet each other, when they were relaxed, no pressure, and afterwards they could cling to the romantic illusion of innocence, purity and quirks of fate. She wanted that illusion. She was going to delete her profile. She’d told herself that before, but this time it was definitely going to happen, that very night. She crossed Sofienberggata and fished out the key to unlock the gate next to the greengrocer’s. She pushed the gate open and stepped into the darkness of the archway. And stopped dead. There were two of them. It took a moment or two for her eyes to get used to the darkness, and for her to see what they were holding in their hands. Both men had undone their trousers and had their cocks out. She jerked back. Didn’t look round, just prayed that there was no one standing behind her. “Fucksorry.” The combination of oath and apology was uttered by a young voice. Nineteen, twenty, Elise guessed. Not sober. “Duh,” the other one said, “you’re pissing all over my shoes!” “I was startled!” Elise pulled her coat more tightly around her and walked past the young men, who had turned back to face the wall again. “This isn’t a public toilet,” she said. “Sorry, we were desperate. It won’t happen again.” … Ping. A match on Tinder. The triumphant sound your phone makes when someone you’ve already swiped right on swipes your picture right as well. Elise’s head was spinning, her heart was racing. She knew it was the familiar response to the sound of Tinder’s matchmaking: increased heart rate as a consequence of excitement. That it released a whole load of happy chemicals that you could become addicted to. But that wasn’t why her heart was galloping. It was because the ping hadn’t come from her phone. But the ping had rung out at the very moment she’d swiped right on a picture. The picture of a person who, according to Tinder, was less than a kilometre away from her. She stared at the closed bedroom door. Swallowed. The sound must have come from one of the neighbouring apartments. There were lots of single people living in the block, lots of potential Tinder users. And everything was quiet now, even on the floor below where the girls had been having a party when she went out earlier that evening. But there was only one way to get rid of imaginary monsters. By checking. Elise got up from the sofa and walked the four steps over to the bedroom door. Hesitated. A couple of assault cases from work swirled through her head. Then she pulled herself together and opened the door.She found herself standing in the doorway gasping for air. Because there wasn't any. None she could breathe. The light above the bed was switched on, and the first thing she saw was the soles of a pair of cowboy boots sticking off the end of the bed. Jeans and a pair of long legs, crossed. The man lying there was like the photograph, half in darkness, half out of focus. But he had unbuttoned his shirt to reveal his bare chest. And on his chest was a drawing or a tattoo of a face. That was what caught her eye now. The silently screaming face. As if it were held tight and was trying to pull free. Elise couldn’t bring herself to scream either.

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR POLICE:“[S]o cleverly beguiling that it should come with a dustcover advisory: ‘Warning: May be harmful to your job, marriage, sleep and blood pressure.’ . . . Nesbø has, over the course of ten Hole books, conjured up one of the most magnetic detectives—some say, character of any stripe—in modern fiction.” —John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press “Ten books on, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series just keeps getting better. . . . This plot has people, pacing and place that keep the action moving right up to the final chapter. A must for Harry Hole fans and a great place to start for those who haven’t discovered this superb series.” —Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail   “Nordic noir at its darkest. . . . [T]he latest and best of the ten-book Harry Hole series. . . . [E]normous tension.” —Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, The Wall Street Journal“Police is at heart a completely satisfying, deeply principled novel. . . . Once again, Nesbø proves himself to be the real thing.” —Anniston Star“It’s a mark of how deceitfully artful Nesbo is that he can lead readers so completely down the rabbit hole or make their jaws literally drop with the shock of a development. You can follow the mocking trail back, convinced he’s lying—only to find out he never actually said what you thought you read. If that isn’t masterful storytelling, I don’t know what is. But it makes you want to laugh and cry, applaud him and punch him at the same time. And there’s no way not to fall for the trick every time: no assurance that he won’t knock off a key character because you think most authors don’t have the guts to. Well, this one does, in a cruel imitation of real life. . . . It’s been four weeks since I turned that last page. I’m still waiting for the suspense to die down.” —Khaleej Times (review) “Police is a brilliant showcase of modern life in Oslo. . . . Nesbo shows us a wonderful Oslo, and how the investigators balance gruesome jobs with complicated family lives. He masterfully cranks the suspense as some likeable characters end up chopped into tiny pieces. It’s not all brutality and horror, though. Harry is a forty-something ‘kidult’ who likes having fun, but wrestles with commitment and alcohol issues. The plot twists are rapid and gut-wrenching. Such mastery may explain why Nesbo’s novels have sold 50 million copies.” —The National “[T]he delight in reading a new Nesbø novel is that he never fails to surprise. This, after all, is a writer who, with his latest police procedural, will ensure that you never look at a certain domestic appliance in quite the same way again. . . . It’s a dizzyingly taut feat of storytelling. The murders are grisly, gruesome, and gory without overwhelming the narrative, and Nesbø deftly juggles multiple plotlines using terrific sleights of hand to gradually reveal where they might intersect while lovingly rounding out each of his characters, heroes and villains alike. Whether describing a biker’s technique and lactic-acid sensation, the overpowering atmosphere of a drug den, the auditory reactions of a detective who thinks he may have heard a little something, the trainee police officer you really want to avoid, or the ways in which two childhood friends still dance around each other professionally and personally in adulthood, Nesbø’s got mesmerizing descriptive powers, and longtime translator Don Bartlett ensures that the images vibrate energetically on the English-language page. . . . In a story that encompasses political corruption, drugs, prison politics and questionable police action as well as downright sociopathic behavior, Nesbø’s trademark intensity never flags throughout the roller-coaster waves of this highly enjoyable ride.” —Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe“Nesbø is a clever writer and plotter. Over the years he has built up a brilliant cast of supporting characters to orbit Hole and now it is their time to shine. . . . They are such brilliantly drawn characters, layered by a shared history that you do not even miss Hole that much at first. Not to mention that the plot will keep you far too occupied to mourn his absence. Yet again, Nesbø has succeeded in producing a multi-layered and intertwining story that makes your head spin, while delivering a masterclass in suspenseful writing.” —Daily Express “[D]ark, intense and bone-chilling. . . . [F]or those who wish to jump into the noir Norwegian world of Jo Nesbø, I have a suggestion. As any Game of Thrones fan knows: Winter is coming. Stock up on the Harry Hole series from the beginning and hunker down and get your inner Norwegian on. Sit in front of an ultraviolet light between books to dispel the creepiness. Think about the fjords. Then take a deep breath and start the next wild ride.” —Kathleen Guzzi, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “One hell of a thriller. . . . Nesbø cunningly plays with the reader throughout this devilishly plotted tale, introducing multiple corkscrewing twists and, while we’re worrying about Harry, slipping in a horrifying shocker from another direction together. The narrative is ingenious, but it grips us the way it does because, after nine novels, we’ve formed abiding relationships with these characters and don’t like to see them messed with. Nesbø messes with everyone here, especially the reader, but furious as we’d like to be, in the end we’re willing supplicants.” —Booklist (starred review) “[A] superb piece of suspense writing in the Thomas Harris vein. . . . Nesbø is concerned with notions of justice, guilt and the culpability of the police. Needless to say, Harry, with his already considerable residue of self-reproach, is the perfect conduit for this theme.” —Barry Forshaw, The Independent “Having upped the ante with the previous novel in the Harry Hole series, the author goes for broke here. Arguably the most densely packed and ambitiously plotted novel in a series that has been getting darker with each volume. . . . A surprise ending promises a fresh start for a series that had appeared to end with its previous novel.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Police is a fast-paced crime novel with a great deal of exhilaration and suspense. . . . As Phantom was more subdued and less violent, Police is more similar to the two previous smash hits The Leopard and The Snowman. . . . A spiral of action that never seems to end. It is impressively executed and as a craftsmanship considered to be superb. If you are a fan of Nesbø, Police will not dismay. Further to the eternal question as to why this man sells so many crime novels: for the simple reason that he is an extremely talented crime author?” —Dagbladet (Norway) “With this novel, Jo Nesbø proves that the crime genre can be elevated to new levels, both in literary terms and when it comes to an innovative, sublime, suspenseful and surprising plot. . . . [Police] is a pure triumph: not only does Nesbø surpass his past successes, he also shows that he has incorporated some sort of plan since 1997, when the first Harry Hole novel was published. . . . This is not only an intelligent crime novel, it is also perfectly composed and can be enjoyed with gusto.” —VG (Norway) “Nesbø makes use of the reader’s expectations and prejudices to the max. . . . I know of no other writer in Norway who has mastered that art as well. . . . Surprisingly often I’m struck by how dull much of today’s crime fiction is. Jo Nesbø alone makes up for a lot of sighs in that regard.”  —Aftenposten (Norway)   “Police consolidates, and probably also reinforces, Jo Nesbø’s position as the world champion of crime fiction.” —Adresseavisen (Norway)   “Jo Nesbø’s is not trying to renew the crime genre. He doesn’t need to, ’cause he is one of those who masters the genre the very best, whether we’re looking at the shelves of Norwegian or translated crime writers.” —Aftenbladet (Norway)  PRAISE FOR JO NESBO:“If you want a well-written mystery, start with a Nesbø novel.” —Ottawa Sun“With his labyrinthine, shiver-inducing plots, full-blooded characterizations and uncanny sense of mood and place, Nesbø is simply a master storyteller.” —Winnipeg Free Press“Once you read a Nesbø novel, you’re hooked on this author.” —The Chronicle Herald“Nesbo is now one of the world’s greatest crime fiction writers. . . . [He is] the leading light of Scandinavian crime fiction.” —Yorkshire Post“Rock star turned writer, Nesbø is one of the most promising Nordic crime novelists in a crowded list.” —New York Post“Jo Nesbo is the reigning king of Scandinavian crime fiction.” —Los Angeles Times“[T]he master of crime fiction.” —The Telegraph “The Snowman by Jo Nesbø is relentless. His terrifying transformation of a childhood icon permeated my sleep. I started Redbreast but it was too much. I gave it to my guitarist Lenny Kaye, and he was hooked. Now my band is reading Nesbø, but I am too petrified to crack open Phantom.” —Patti Smith“Even the prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, is a fan. He once started to recommend Mr. Nesbø’s novel Redbreast to the king, until he remembered that the story involved an assassination plot against the Norwegian royal family.” —The New York Times“Norway boasts Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Munch and the bestselling thriller writer Jo Nesbø as native sons.” —The New York Times“Nesbø’s novels are compelling not just because like all good mysteries, they keep you thinking, but they also bring you into Norwegian culture, city life and history. . . . Nesbø sets a higher cerebral and intellectual standard for his readers.” —Big Think“In Norway the books have sold about two million copies. This is more impressive when you consider the population of Norway is fewer than five million people.” —The Washington Post “[Nesbø’s] novels are maddeningly addictive: be prepared for more whirlwind rides through those unpronounceable Scandinavian street names.” —Vanity Fair“Every now and then, a truly exceptional crime novel comes along, something so gripping that it recalls classics such as The Silence of the Lambs. Jo Nesbø has pulled it off with The Snowman.” —The Sunday Times