Jo Nesbø has previously received The Norwegian Reader Award. He got his second prize of this type in 2009. Photo: Stock Photo: Morten Holm / Scanpix.
Jo Nesbo is presenting his new novel "Police" in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Jo Nesbo was awarded the Norwegian Peer Gynt Prize.
Jo Nesbø goes rock climbing in Poland.
Jo Nesbø goes rock climbing in Poland.
Nesbo performing with his band, Di Derre, in the Czech Republic.
Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo attends the Raymond Chandler Awards ceremony on December 8, 2018 in Como, Italy. (Photo by Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images).
Jo Nesbø with Di Derre and Unni Wilhelmsen at Gamle Norge. The concert was part of Kongsberg Jazzfestival and took place on 04. July 2018 in Kongsberg.
Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo attends the Raymond Chandler Awards ceremony on December 8, 2018, in Como, Italy. (Photo by Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images).
Nesbo has sold 33 million books worldwide - but started off as a footballer. Photo: Douglas O'Connor.
Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway
Nesbo graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics (Norges Handelshøyskole) in Bergen with a degree in economics.
Nesbø performing with the band Di Derre. ‘We’re like the Norwegian Teenage Fanclub but with a couple more stupid songs,’ is how he describes them.
Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø. Photograph: Alexander Widding for the Guardian.
Nesbo descending the Klatreverket wall. Photo by Linda Bournane Engelberth.
(Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatche...)
Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. Harry is free to offer assistance, but he has firm instructions to stay out of trouble. The victim is a twenty-three-year-old Norwegian woman who is a minor celebrity back home. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Harry befriends one of the lead detectives, and one of the witnesses, as he is drawn deeper into the case.
(The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal t...)
The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal that ranges from the battlefields of World War Two to the streets of modern-day Oslo. Follow Hole as he races to stop a killer and disarm a ticking time-bomb from his nation’s shadowy past.
(In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is...)
In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is found murdered in her flat - with one of her fingers cut off and a tiny red star-shaped diamond placed under her eyelid. An off-the-rails alcoholic barely holding on to his job, Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with Tom Waaler, a hated colleague whom Harry believes is responsible for the murder of his partner. When another woman is reported missing five days later, and her severed finger turns up adorned with a red star-shaped diamond ring, Harry fears a serial killer is at work.
(Inspector Harry Hole tracks a Norwegian serial killer in ...)
Inspector Harry Hole tracks a Norwegian serial killer in this installment of Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling series. Now a Major Motion Picture starring Michael Fassbender. One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy named Jonas wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day.
(Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in O...)
Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in Oslo, leaving one of the singers dead in the street. The trail will lead Harry Hole, Oslo’s best investigator, and worst civil servant, deep into the darkest corners of the city and, eventually, to Croatia. An assassin forged in the war-torn region has been brought to Oslo to settle an old debt. As the police circle in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate and the danger mounts for Harry and his colleagues.
(Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping...)
Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping the trauma of his last case in squalid opium dens, when two young women are found dead in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches a fever pitch. There are no clues, the police investigation is stalled, and Harry - the one man who might be able to help - can’t be found. After he returns to Oslo, the killer strikes again, Harry’s instincts take over, and nothing can keep him from the investigation, though there is little to go on.
(When Harry Hole moved to Hong Kong, he thought he was esc...)
When Harry Hole moved to Hong Kong, he thought he was escaping the traumas of his life in Oslo and his career as a detective for good. But now, the unthinkable has happened - Oleg, the boy he helped raise, has been arrested for killing a man. Harry can't believe that Oleg is a murderer, so he returns to hunt down the real killer. Although he's off the police force, he still has a case to solve that will send him into the depths of the city’s drug culture, where a shockingly deadly new street drug is gaining popularity. This most personal of investigations will force Harry to confront his past and the wrenching truth about Oleg and himself.
(When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead i...)
When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case. But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls.
(For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of...)
For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His brilliant insights and dedication to his job have saved countless lives over the years. But as the killer grows increasingly bold and the media reaction increasingly hysterical, the detective is nowhere to be found. This time, when those he loves and values most are facing terrible danger, Harry is in no position to protect anyone - least of all himself.
(A Marine in name only, Jack is on-loan to the CIA. Normal...)
A Marine in name only, Jack is on-loan to the CIA. Normally an integral part of the team, he finds that he is nothing more than a security detail in Iraq. Jack and his partner Bear have a run-in with four CIA special agents over the treatment of an Iraqi family. Within hours Jack and Bear are detained. All Jack wanted was to finish his enlistment and move on with his life. All he did was intervene and save a family from unwarranted violence at the hands of four CIA agents. But he soon discovers that he did far more than intervene. He has placed himself dead square in the middle of a conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of the United States government.
(Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for almost half his life...)
Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for almost half his life: serving time for crimes he didn't commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin - and a stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his Buddha-like absolution. Years earlier Sonny’s father, a corrupt cop, took his own life rather than face exposure. Now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest - all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed. When Sonny discovers a shocking truth about his father’s suicide, he makes a brilliant escape and begins hunting down the people responsible for his and his father’s demise.
(This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” ...)
This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake.
(Ulf has one small problem - his former boss, Oslo's most ...)
Ulf has one small problem - his former boss, Oslo's most notorious drug kingpin, wants him dead. He was once the kingpin's fixer, but after betraying him, Ulf is now the one his former boss wants to be fixed. Hiding out at the end of the line in northern Norway, Ulf lives among the locals. A mother and son befriend him, and their companionship stirs something deep in him that he thought was long dead. As he awaits the inevitable arrival of his murderous pursuers, he questions if redemption is at all possible or if, as he's always believed, “hope is a real bastard.”
(The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one...)
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.
(Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo...)
Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo's Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom - a master of manipulation named Hecate - has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.
(Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel the only woman h...)
Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel the only woman he's ever loved - has ended it with him, permanently. He's been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it's in the cold case office when what he really wants is to be investigating cases the suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist, and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison - free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse.
Jo Nesbo graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics (Norges Handelshøyskole) in Bergen with a degree in economics.
After the graduation from the Norwegian School of Economics, Nesbo took a job as a stockbroker while maintaining a vision of himself as a singer-songwriter. In 1992 he helped start a band named Di Derre, which recorded several albums. Working at a stressful day job and performing with his increasingly popular band at night eventually took its toll on Nesbo. When someone made a casual suggestion that he write a book about traveling with the band, he took it as a challenge, asked for six months off, went to Australia, and returned with what would become his first Harry Hole novel.
That book, titled Flaggermusmannen (1997; “Bat Man”; Eng. trans. The Bat), follows Hole, a recovering alcoholic, to Australia for a murder investigation. Nesbo’s second Hole novel, Kakerlakkene (1998; “Cockroaches”; The Cockroaches), takes the detective through the seamy underworld of Bangkok. Rodstrupe (2000; “Robin”; The Redbreast) details the role of fascism in Norway. In Sorgenfri (2002; “Sorrow-Free”; Nemesis) Hole investigates a bank robbery and is implicated in the death of a former girlfriend. A serial killer is at work in Marekors (2003; “Pentagram”; The Devil’s Star), this time in Oslo. Hole tracks a contract killer in Frelseren (2005; “Saviour”; The Redeemer) and another serial killer in Snømannen (2007; The Snowman). Panserhjerte (2009; “Armoured Heart”; The Leopard) has Hole tracked down in Hong Kong and persuaded to reengage in police work. Gjenferd (2011; “Ghost”; Phantom) treats the drug scene in Oslo and examines Hole’s experience of fatherhood, and Politi (2013; Police) continues the story begun in Phantom. In Torst (2017; The Thirst) Hole hunts for a killer who finds his victims on Tinder, a dating app.
Nesbo’s Hole series proved to be extremely popular and was translated into many languages. Its popularity was in part because of tight plotting and in part because of Nesbo’s method of presenting his main character. Throughout the series, Hole battles his demons, sometimes successfully but more often not. Each successive volume deepens the reader’s experience with Hole and his life on the edge. Furthermore, the later books refer to incidents in the earlier books, another effect that adds dimension to Hole’s deeply flawed but essentially sympathetic personality.
Nesbo’s long essay “Stemmer fra Balkan” (“Figures in the Balkans”) was published in 1999 with another long essay by Espen Søbye, about the authors’ trip to Serbia and Norway’s role in the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Nesbø also produced several stand-alone books, including the novella Det hvite hotellet (2007; “The White Hotel”) and the novels Hodejegerne (2009; Headhunters; film 2011) and Sønnen (2014; The Son). Blod pa sno (2015; Blood on Snow) and Mere blod (2015; Midnight Sun) were linked crime thrillers set in 1970s Norway. Macbeth (2018), a retelling of Shakespeare’s classic play, was written for the Hogarth Shakespeare series. In addition, Nesbo published a book of short stories, Karusellmusikk (2001; “Carousel Music”), and a number of children’s books, including a series of books featuring Doktor Proktor and his Fart Powder.
Nesbø currently lives in Oslo, Norway where he pursues his passion for writing and music.
(Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping...)2011
(In the heat of a sweltering Oslo summer, a young woman is...)2005
(Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo...)2018
(When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead i...)2013
(The Redbreast is a chilling tale of murder and betrayal t...)2000
(When Harry Hole moved to Hong Kong, he thought he was esc...)2012
(Inspector Harry Hole tracks a Norwegian serial killer in ...)2007
(Shots ring out at a Salvation Army Christmas concert in O...)2009
(This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” ...)2015
(For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of...)2013
(Sonny Lofthus has been in prison for almost half his life...)2014
(Ulf has one small problem - his former boss, Oslo's most ...)2015
(Inspector Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatche...)1997
(A Marine in name only, Jack is on-loan to the CIA. Normal...)2013
(The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one...)2017
(Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel the only woman h...)2019
"If you'd asked me after three novels if I'd write up to 11 or 12, I'd have been in doubt, but when you have a character like this and go deeper into the character, he's like a human being. You get more interested the more you know. He's the sort of friend that when you spend the weekend with him, you hope he's not going to call on Monday."
“Nobody needs a book where the writer is trying his best to be William Shakespeare, so I decided this would be my take on the story,” he says. “I had to start stripping off all the beautiful prose and poetry of Shakespeare and get at the construction and the characters’ motivation. You can play around with certain things, but there are things that are needed because that’s why the story works. There’s a reason why this is a classic, why we have always been fascinated with Macbeth.”
“There is an element of things not adding up and people rewriting Shakespeare’s work anyway, but to me, the beauty of the play is that it is not perfect, like any beauty. There are things you think "is this really necessary for the story?" and as soon as you try to change it, you realize yes, it is necessary for the story. Even the supernatural element of the three witches, which has always puzzled me – I was thinking of leaving them out – but they are the core of the story, they are the inner voice and totally needed. I made them real people and a piece of the puzzle and intrigues of the power play in the city.”
“I grew up in a family where we told stories and there was absolutely no respect for the original version. You can come up with a version that may be better, or if not better, then different, and that was OK too. So when you’re telling a story you don’t respect the story, because it’s from the world of the writer that’s written it – I never gave that a thought – I was only looking at the story and my own relationship with it. It’s the personal take on a story that I’ve always been fascinated by.”
"I think the best crime novels are great literature because they are, of course, not about crimes as such."
"Freedom is important to me. And freedom is a good thing that also has a price. For some, the price is too high, but for me, freedom is more important than the other I miss."
Jo Nesbø says that he is such a natural pessimist that whenever he is asked how long a journey will take to complete, he always replies "two hours more", no matter how near the final destination. He spends a lot of time traveling but makes use of the time, writing on planes and trains. And never feels rushed to deliver. "A book is always two years away, is what I tell publishers," he says.
Nesbø played top-flight football for Molde FK until he tore the cruciate ligaments in his knee, and had to concentrate on other aspects of his life. Nesbø is a dedicated rock climber and has climbed sport routes up to French grade 7c. In addition to his career as author, Nesbø is also the main vocalist and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre.
Nesbo lives close to his former wife and their daughter in Oslo.