Headhunters, by Jo Nesbo

4 May

Format: Paperback, 376 pages
Published: March 29, 2012 (first published 2008)
Publisher: Vintage
Back cover blurb:
Roger Brown has it all: Norway’s most successful headhunter, he is married to a beautiful gallery owner and owns a magnificent house. But he’s also a highly accomplished art thief. At a gallery opening, his wife introduces him to Clas Greve. Not only is Greve the perfect candidate for a position that Brown is recruiting for; he is also in possession of ‘The Calydonian Boar Hunt’ by Rubens, one of the most sought-after paintings in modern art history. Roger starts planning his biggest theft ever. But soon, he runs into trouble – and it’s not financial problems that are threatening to knock him over this time…
My review:
My sister has been recommending Nesbo to me for a while, so when he came to New Zealand recently I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. Now I know, and have to agree with my sister: he is well worth recommending.

Headhunters is the story of thoroughly loathsome Roger Brown, who is both a top Norwegian recruitment agency big-wig and an art thief, and what happens when he falls foul of a former Dutch counterterrorism agent who wants to find a new job. The plot twists and turns with rapid pace, shocking us with horrific violence and acts of betrayal. We dislike Roger from beginning to end, but he is more sympathetic than sociopathic Clas Greve, who seems to turn up like The Terminator no matter what is thrown at him.

I can see how this book was turned into a movie – it almost reads like a screenplay and the images are vividly written – and I would quite like to see it now I have read the source material. The scene in the outhouse may be one I will never forget.

I enjoyed this far more than Stieg Larssen, and will definitely be reading Nesbo’s Harry Hole mysteries. My sister has even given me one to get me started 🙂

My rating: 4/5

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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