A couple weeks ago I was in Sainsbury’s picking up a few DVD’s for work & saw a couple books that really caught my attention. The Leopard was one of them. After buying it I discovered that it is part of a series, but I didn’t want to wait to read it, so thought I’d throw caution to the wind & read it anyway. I am so glad that I did!!
In the depths of winter, two young women are found dead, both drowned in their own blood. Inspector Harry Hole, deeply traumatised by an investigation that threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, initially wants nothing to do with the case but his instincts take over when a prominent MP is found brutally murdered. The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it’s not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in the same isolated mountain hostel. And someone is picking off the guests, one by one…
The Leopard is the 8th book in a series about Norwegian detective Harry Hole & the first Jo Nesbo book I have read. Admittedly it probably would have been best to have started with Nesbo’s first book, but when I see a new book I like the look of – I buy it. At the time I didn’t know it was part of a series & when I do discover this, often I would rather read what I’ve bought than go out & track down the beginning of the series & wait to read the book I just bought. ‘Cause the thing is, I bought the book in the first place because I needed something to read, not because I wanted to stockpile a bunch of books that are “waiting” to be read.
Luckily for me, The Leopard is one of the rare books in a series that while yes, you probably should read them in order, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t. Nesbo does mention things that happened in The Snowman (in fact, the character The Snowman is also in this book), but Nesbo writes The Leopard in such a way that reading it before reading The Snowman, doesn’t ruin The Snowman by telling you the critical parts of the story in flashbacks.
The story begins in Hong Kong, where Harry has disappeared to after closing the case on The Snowman. He’s now an unbelievably broken man, intent on killing himself through abuse of alcohol & drugs. Kaja Solness travels to Hong Kong to bring Harry back to Norway to help solve 2 grisly murders – and unfortunately that is all that I can say about the book without giving anything away. Believe me, this book is far too good to have me ruin it for you by talking about what happens in the story. Nesbo’s writing style is gritty & at times gruesome – you’re either going to love it, or hate it. Personally, I loved it & now I need to go buy the rest of the series……..