28 January 2014

Miracle superhero

The stories in some books pour off the pages like slick water. Other stories come out of books like cold, thick molasses, and then only with a lot of work. Jo Nesbø's Police is one of the latter.

I think those molasses-like stories are often more interesting to read. Not necessarily better, but more interesting.

Police is intense and interesting. Often too intense for me. I skimmed through several sections looking for semi-climaxes.

Nesbø spins a good yarn and writes suspenseful action scenes. Many of the scenes are theatrical. Several times in the book he dangles red herrings as he narrates some action, only to sweep them away and reveal deception at the end. It's neatly done, but it's also a somewhat nasty trick to play on readers.
I could never be sure I understood what had happened until I read the post-action description that Nesbø has to include or no one would blame you for thinking his hero is crazy to talk about a surprise present as he walks into a room where he knows a psychopath has a gun aimed the hero's son and fiancé.

Oh, and remember the special awards I give out to stories that needed superheros and unbelievable good fortune to work? Well, Police earns both the Green Lantern superhero and the Heart of Gold improbability awards.

The Heart of Gold
Green Lantern

If you're not willing to tolerate an unbelievable superhero and enough improbability to send the Heart of Gold across the universe a couple times, stay away from this book. Otherwise, enjoy it like a good Batman story.

Have you read Police? What did you think of it? Write and tell this little bit of the universe.

1 comment:

Ken Wedding said...

Bird Loomis wrote from Kansas:

I just finished Police a couple days ago. The molasses metaphor is apt.

My previous bedside reading was the latest Jack Reacher, which I whizzed through (of course). But Police, till the last 50 pp, was slow -- somewhere between a slog and drawn out pleasure.

To really get this book, I might need to read it again.

I don't find Harry as so much the superhero, but there's a bit of the inevitable, to be sure.

Probably not Nesbø's best, but as a student of politics I did enjoy the institutional side of this book.

Honestly, to change the subject a bit, nothing I've read recently is as good as HBO's True Detective or Netflix's Top of the Lake.