Review: The Thirst by Jo Nesbo

Publisher Description

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.

Thrilling Reads Review

I’m a long-time fan of Jo Nesbo. His crime thrillers are visceral, moody, and dark. And I enjoy novels set in other countries, like Norway, in this series. Harry Hole has become an iconic character. He’s like a Norwegian Harry Bosch.

The Thirst is the 11th book in the series. It was published in 2017, but I just read in 2022, thus the late review. Although I enjoyed the book, which has a now retired Harry Hole who is now a professor of sorts at a police college, coming back into the force to help track down a serial killer targeting women on the Tinder dating app.

At over 630 pages, this novel was a bit of a slog to get through and I skimmed a lot. That’s a big book for a crime thriller and I would have understood it if it was a necessary part of the storytelling, but it wasn’t. Seemed like a lot of filler and wandering off into the dark. Not sure of Jo Nesbo’s writing process, but I’m assuming he’ writes by the seat of his pants without an outline and it shows.

The Thirst would have been much better as a tightly written, fast-paced thriller of 300-400 pages. That being said, the crux of the story was good. Although it closely resembled the plot of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon down to a serial killer with a speech impediment who uses dentures to bite and kill his victims.

But there were good twists and turns that kept me going to the end. The epilogue concluded with a cliffhanger for the next, which I haven’t read yet.

Even though this is a bit of a negative review, I still enjoy Jo Nesbo’s work and the Harry Hole character, so will continue reading this series.

It's safe to say that Alan Petersen loves mystery and thriller books. He writes high-octane thrillers, hosts the MEET THE THRILLER AUTHOR podcast, and reviews thriller/mystery books.

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