Marekors The Devil’s Star

Harry Hole #5

A serial killer plagues summertime Oslo, and Harry Hole is teamed up with his archenemy Tom Waaler to crack the case. The murders bring up questions of fidelity and betrayal, while Waaler enlists Harry in his clandestine band of police vigilantes, imposing their own brand of justice. Harry is forced to settle the score with Waaler once and for all, and at the same time solve the riddle of the devil’s star. In a breath-taking chase through Oslo, Harry manages to do both.

The Devil’s Star was awarded with The Finnish Whodunnit Society’s Annual Award for Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing 2007.

Click here for a video interview in English with Jo Nesbø about The Devil’s Star.


The Finnish Academy of Crime Writers’ Special Commendation (Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing) Finland 2007
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  • “Nesbo’s on an equal playing field as [Stieg] Larsson; perhaps a bit better, in my opinion. With The Devil’s Star, Jo Nesbo takes his alcoholic cop Harry Hole to the bottom of the abyss and back again. /…/ Nesbo grips the reader like a really good season of 24. Secret phone calls, narrow escapes, multiple levels of evil, and a handcuffed elevator brawl will leave you breathless. /…/ See why Michael Connelly and fans of crime fiction are hopping on board the Nesbo bullet train. If you love razor-sharp tension, literary noir, and a hero with more scars than sense, The Devil’s Star, The Redbreast and Edgar Award nominated Nemesis should be on your reading list.”

    Madison County Herald, US

  • “… a carefully paced thriller built on the classic struggle between a detestable murderer and a detective dedicated to saving lives and discovering truths. /…/ Nesbø shows great talent in keeping his tale moving. He shifts between multiple points of view that include several soliloquies from a character we suspect is the killer. He weaves his story lines seamlessly, ratcheting up the tension as he builds to the long finale. /…/ And, as the story spools out to its concluding battle between good and evil, the resulting violence becomes merely gruesome and strangely satisfying. /…/ Don’t look for any garden parties or bodies left conveniently at the end of library benches in a murder mystery involving [Harry] Hole. Expect, instead, a gritty, realistic triumph over human wickedness.”

    January Magazine, US

  • “This dark and thrilling serial killer mystery will keep you on the edge of your tiny seat.”

    Fashion Magazine, US

  • “The serial killer is almost exclusively an American phenomenon. /…/ it’s fascinating to watch this Norwegian author adapt our homegrown monster to a foreign culture. /…/ When things go wrong Harry goes on a bender, but when he’s on his game, no one is better than this obsessive detective. He systematically works his way through the intricacies of a plot that speeds along like a bullet train.”

    New York Times Book Review, US

  • “Required Reading.”

    New York Post, US

  • “Nesbo brilliantly incorporates threads from earlier novels, including Hole’s often tumultuous relationship with his lover, Rakel, without ever losing the current story’s rhythm. /…/ Hole is arguably one of today’s most fascinating fictional detectives.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Readers new to this whitehot series will be impressed by Nesbø’s generous plotting and his insight into dark places in the human soul.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “Reviewing The Redbreast a few years ago, I said that it ranked with today’s best American crime writing… [The Devil’s Star] reinforces that view. The Devil’s Star is a big, ambitious, wildly readable story /…/ Harry Hole can be compared to the early, hard-drinking, rebellious Harry Bosch of Michael Connelly’s series, and Connelly has been generous in his praise of this Norwegian… [Nesbo] sometimes recalls Ian Rankin’s John Rebus novels with their rich, far-flung portrait of Edinburgh.”

    Washington Post, US

  • “[Harry Hole] systematically works his way through the intricacies of a plot that speeds along like a bullet train”

    New York Times, US

  • “Harry is one of the best lone-wolf cops for the 21st century, and Nesbø’s third book is equally as good as The Redbreast and Nemesis. Scandinavian noir is alive and well, and Nesbø is one of its best authors. Highly recommended, especially for readers who like Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series or Arnaldur Indridason's Inspector Erlendur series.”

    Library Journal, US

  • “…wild and superb writing… marvelously structured, each joint in place as true carpentry. Narration moves among minds, giving us unforgettable pictures of a variety of human lives… Remorseless, horrified suspense marks the final third of the book”

    Philadelphia Inquirer, US

  • “Hole reminds me of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, an all-too-human tough guy who is absolutely committed to doing the right thing by any means necessary and damn the consequences. Nesbo winds in strands from previous Harry Hole novels as he keeps the surprises coming and the suspense high.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune, US

  • “TV Pitch: Hole and The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty were separated at birth. Low down: A gritty, gripping thriller”

    Entertainment Weekly, US

  • “a tight, suspenseful mystery. /…/ [Nesbo’s] narrative is swift and suspenseful. His characters have more depth and ambiguity than those in most thrillers.”

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette, US

  • “Jo Nesbo’s new book, The Devil’s Star, may be the best crime novel that opens with a three-page history of a leaky house’s shrink-swell issues. Nesbo’s writing is so good that even those opening pages offer dark entertainments /…/ The Devil’s Star offers a smorgasbord of noir and crime novel conventions, and Nesbo somehow makes them feel fresh, complete with terse, world-weary dialogue that would sound equally good being spoken by Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe… The result is riveting.”

    Richmond Times Dispatch, US

  • “[Nesbø] offers a grasp of modern family and city life as well as up-to-the-minute police work that’s much greater than the average thriller. And Nesbo’s main character, the exasperating alcoholic police detective Harry Hole, offers a wonderful variation on he lone-wolf investigator”

    The Dallas Morning News, US

  • “Jo Nesbo has been referred to as the bad boy of Norwegian crime fiction. He’s been touted as a writer whose gifts surpass those of Stieg Larsson, the late author of the popular Millennium Trilogy that features titles that include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Noted crime and mystery writer Michael Connelly has called Nesbo his new favorite writer. /…/ [The Devil’s Star] features his protagonist Harry Hole, a police inspector who seems to be a cross between Connelly’s Harry Bosch and another Scandinavian character, Hamlet.”

    Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, US

  • “Contrary to Nordic stereotypes, Nesbo’s world is far from glum. It is sophisticated and serious, but it is also invested with vitality, history and humor. /…/ The Devil’s Star is a big book with room for character development, anecdote and the riches of subplot and back story. It glides through diverse social strata, revealing indelible personalities on every level. This is the first Nesbo novel I’ve read. And it was so good that I immediately dived into the earlier Harry Hole books… Nesbo uses grace and energy to blend intelligent art with grisly mayhem.”

    The Portland Oregonian, US

  • “Nesbo creates both a gripping mystery and a fascinating character study of [Harry Hole].”

    The Daily Beast, US

  • “The story remains colorful, exciting, and completely unexpected right up until the very last moment.”, US

  • “There’s Nordic noir, and then there’s Nesbo noir /…/ [a] sordid, suspenseful tale that veritably drips with blood and angst.”

    USA Today, US

  • “The Norwegian master of crime hits every spot in creating suspense. After every twist in the plot, he twists it again to make it even tighter – the suspense never stops. You bite your fingernails, you claw at the walls, you chew on the curtain rod, you live on sedatives – until you reach the last page. I don’t think I've ever read a better crime novel than this. It can only be compared to a couple of other works like Block’s When the Sacred Ginmill Closes, Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel, Simenon’s The Man from London, Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or even some of Chandler’s and Macdonald’s work. It is only these who measure up to Nesbo – this devilish genius! If The Redbreast was ten points out of ten, then The Devil’s Star is thirteen.”

    Népszabadság, Hungary

  • “Harry Hole is hot. /…/ Jo Nesbø’s novels are fast-paced and filled with action. A series of ritual murders and a dramatic altercation in an elevator hold the reader in breathless suspense.”

    Berlingske, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø’s crime novels with Harry Hole are quite simply brilliant. /…/ The Devil’s Star holds the same level as the other novels in the Harry Hole series. Dear Nesbø: don’t let this be the last one!”

    Weekendavisen, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø – one of Norway’s – maybe Scandinavia’s – at the moment most exciting crime novel writer has again put focus on another Harry Hole mystery.”

    Jydske Vestkysten, Denmark

  • “Exquisite, hard-boiled crime novel that makes the reader almost forget that Olso, in spite of the heatwave, isn’t Los Angeles.”

    Jyllands-Posten, Denmark

  • “Winding intrigues, bitter and pregnant depiction of the milieu and a quick dialogue. It is a crime novel and a critique of society, in which excitement, chilling murders and even humor walk hand in hand, making us understand a little more about the world we live in.”

    Nordjyske Stiftstidende, Denmark

  • “Jo Nesbø, who is both an author, economist and rock singer, writes in a driven and quick tempo without neglecting nuance. The fourth translated book about Harry Hole will surely be up for a medal.”

    Hufvudstadsbladet, Finland

  • “He manages to create an almost distinct sense of excitement in his text. Whether you want it or not, you will read it in one sitting.”

    Dagens Industri, Sweden

  • “This is a crime novel that holds the reader captivated from the very first page to the last. Easy to read, believable and franticly exciting.”

    Nerikes Allehanda, Sweden

  • “In addition, he is very self-confident: the first chapter’s depiction of the water flowing through an apartment house is an artful example. Well done, absolutely worth reading.”

    Jury, Sweden

  • “Jo Nesbø’s previous book Nemesis was a real page-turner, almost impossible to put down. His new book, The Devil’s Star, holds the same high level of quality. Once again, a very exciting, fast-paced crime novel, which is well-written and offers some unexpected turns just when you think you have it figured out.”

    Skaraborgs Allehanda, Sweden

  • “The disposition is classic and dangerously close to cliché. Although, The Devil’s Star is ingeniously constructed and unpredictable, just as unpredictable as its fascinating and impulsive main character Harry Hole.”

    Östran, Sweden

  • “With the Harry Hole series about an Oslo based crime investigator, Jo Nesbø has made his audience grow accustomed to intelligently composed, suspensful and irreverent crime novels. With the fifth novel in the series he continues to impress. The alcoholic Hole is, if possible, even more worn out than before; Oslo is suffering from a heatwave, and down town a serial killer is wreaking havoc in every regard. /…/ With this complex character, Nesbø has indeed written himself into Scandinavian crime writing history.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “Wow, what a thriller! /…/ I can’t remember the last time I read a novel this suspenseful and well written /…/ I shall however write once again: It is incredibly exciting, especially in the latter part of the novel, in which the web around the murderer starts to get pulled together. At this point, it is impossible to stop reading – even for a short period of time. In short, it is impressively good.”

    Gefle Dagblad, Sweden

  • “Nesbø has once again crafted a page-turner with several parallel stories that are intermingled in an inventive way, with a particularly captivating opening chapter.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • “Having read the first three pages of Jo Nesbø’s exquisite opening – where it is once and for all proven that there in the literature exists something called ”construction of warmth and humour” – I found myself thinking that from here on out, Nesbø can do exactly what he wants; whatever step the story takes, it will be a good read. /…/ Don’t start this book with outside commitments on the horizon – you simply won’t be able to stop in time. Not until you’ve finished it.”

    NRK, Norway

  • “2003 looks like a good detective fiction year for the home country. Many of our best authors have written books they can be extremely proud of – something that is definitely the case with Jo Nesbø. The Devil’s Star is one of the best crime novels I have read for many years. /…/ The Devil’s Star is a cleverly structured top crime novel: it is subtle, tough and sensitive, and all at the same time. There are no better crime novels being written in Norway – or anywhere else.”

    Aftenposten, Norway

  • “Nesbø has a magnificent sense for the crime genre./…/ Take note of the author’s obvious talent in depicting both milieu, character and psyche. /…/Jo Nesbø is a very good crime author, no doubt about it. At one place in the novel the word riddle is used, a word that is applicable when describing both The Devil’s Star and Nesbø’s other books.”

    Dagsavisen, Norway

  • “Nesbø is top notch. /…/ The last part of the novel must be some of the most exciting writing in the Norwegian crime genre for a long time. In addition, Nesbø has improved himself to become a master of the language. In the opening of the novel, blood begins to flow from one floor to another – a skilfull display in the art of writing. Dazzling is also the description of the hard-boiled and, at times, psychologically unstable Hole – a kind of human fighting dog that clings to life on bare instincts. Nesbø has never written with such splendor before.”

    Fædrelandsvennen, Norway

Photo: Stian Broch Jo Nesbø
  • Crime
Reading material

Norwegian edition

English edition

German edition

French edition

Spanish edition

Rights sold

Albania, Dudaj

Arab World, Arab Scientific

Azerbaijan, Qanun

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Buybook

Brazil, Record

Bulgaria, Emas

Canada, Penguin Random House

Catalonia, Proa

China, Booky (Simplified Chinese)

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Modtryk

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Johnny Kniga

France, Gallimard

Germany, Ullstein

Greece, Metaixmio

Hungary, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Israel, Babel

Italy, Einaudi

Japan, Shueisha

Korea, Viche

Latvia, Zvaigzne ABC

Lithuania, Baltos Lankos

Netherlands, Cargo

North Macedonia, TRI

Norway, Aschehoug

Poland, Dolnoslaskie

Portugal, Dom Quixote

Romania, RAO

Romania, Trei

Russia, Inostranka

Serbia, Laguna

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, Didakta

Slovenia, Mladinska

Spain, RBA (World Spanish)

Sweden, Albert Bonniers

Taiwan, Azoth (Complex Chinese)

Thailand, WeLearn

Türkiye, Dogan Egmont

UK, Harvill

Ukraine, Folio

US, HarperCollins

Film rights sold

UK/US, Working Title / Netflix

More From Jo Nesbø

Harry Hole

Short Story Collection

Doctor Proctor

Blood on Snow