Killing Moon is the 13th Harry Hole mystery by Jo Nesbo. For those unfamiliar with the Harry Hole series the novel contains spoilers to previous thrillers.

Killing Moon finds Harry Hole drinking very early in the morning in a Laurel Canyon bar. He is befriended by Lucille who used to be a movie star. Lucille owes almost a million dollars to some very bad people.

This will be the motivation for Harry Hole to return to Norway and work for a millionaire named Roed who is a suspect in the disappearance of two women and wants to prove his innocence to the tabloids.

Because of Lucille’s debt, Hole charges Roed almost a million dollars plus expenses. Unfortunately the very bad people only give him ten days before something bad happens to Lucille and, later, himself. Now a self-controlled alcoholic, Harry Hole recruits a dying retired colleague, a crooked cop, and a drug dealing taxi driver to be his associates.

Series regular, Katherine Bratt, is the police investigator. Journalist Mona Dee, another Jo Nesbo regular, keeps getting scooped by another newspaper and this gets her angrier and angrier. This kind of serves as secondary plot.

The serial killer is standard mystery novel fare even if he has a couple of original traits like using a parasite to attract or kill his victims. He or she is just interesting enough to keep the reader going but not much more than that. Jo Nesbo cleverly misdirects the reader into thinking he has revealed the identity of the serial killer about halfway through. There is also a secondary plot that serves as a red herring as to the identity of the killer.

Jo Nesbo tells the story from these multiple points of view. The switches are well handled.

The climax is okay. Getting there is a little confusing.

Killing Moon is a decent Harry Hole mystery. This, and because it contains spoilers to previous thrillers, means I would not introduce a new reader to the series with this thriller.

Killing Moon
A Harry Hole Mystery
Jo Nesbo
Knopf 2023
496 pages

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