Arguably the greatest entry in the Inspector Harry Hole series from Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. I’m writing this with bleary eyes and an extra-strong cup of coffee because I COULD NOT put Phantom down and read it to conclusion late into last night (actually early this morning).
A plot filled with twists, turns, switchbacks, surprises and suspense; a cast of characters led by the honorable yet wonderfully flawed (read: human) protagonist in Harry; a setting of mystery, beauty, urban blight, sunshine, rain and shadows in Oslo; an ending that I truly did not see coming.
I’ve read each of the Harry Hole books that have been translated into English (and wish I spoke another language so I could tackle the others) and have enjoyed each immensely. Phantom is perhaps the best of the lot (I leave the argument open for others to weigh in) and it demonstrates Mr. Nesbo’s skills as an author who can paint a vivid scene, say more with fewer words of dialogue, and hook readers with his devious plot machinations.
The final quarter of the book is simply a white-knuckle roller-coaster of a ride that you won’t want to stop.
My recommendation is to start the Harry Hole series at the beginning, read them all and then read Phantom. If you can’t or won’t do that, read Phantom anyway. My guess is you’ll want to go back and read the others after finishing it.