A fascinating story about a small group of Norwegian, pro-Nazi Germany soldiers during WWII becomes the basis for this engrossing tale of covert traitors, multiple murders, and a legendary "soldier" known as Redbreast.
Modern-day Norwegian Inspector Harry Hole is a laconic, guilt-ridden cop, doggedly searching for the truth behind a seemingly random string of murders that turn out to be connected to a band of WWII troops. In spite of strong political pressures within his own department, he struggles to track down the surviving veterans, though records have disappeared and memories have become vague.
As the hidden lives of many of the supporting characters unfold, including the identity of the mysterious Redbreast, the intricacy of the story deepens and Hole soon finds his homicide investigation spiraling into something much bigger and more dangerous than he ever imagined--a case with roots of pain, vengeance and betrayal a half-century old.
Redbreast demands a lot of the reader, but Nesbo expertly lays out the varied social impetuses behind Norwegian nationalism and the rise of current day neo-Nazism. Though Nesbo takes his time with background and politics, the story is always a gripping one and I can understand why it was voted the Best Norwegian Crime Novel of All Time. Nesbo's result is richly interwoven story of victims, murderer, and cops that make the unexpected ending shocking but believable.